In a tweet posted on Cineworld's official account this afternoon, the cinema chain confirmed that it is considering closing its venues, but said that no decision has been made as of yet.
Previously, the UK Sunday Times reported that the cinema chain - the largest in the UK - was set to close all 127 venues, including its venue on Parnell Street, Dublin. The reason, per the UK Sunday Times' reporting, was placed squarely on 'No Time To Die' being pushed to 2021.
The news came as shock to Cineworld's 5,500 staff, who had not been notified on the plans, nor was there any indication from management that closures were being discussed at higher levels of the business.
We can confirm we are considering the temporary closure of our U.K. and US cinemas, but a final decision has not yet been reached. Once a decision has been made we will update all staff and customers as soon as we can.
— Cineworld Cinemas (@cineworld) October 4, 2020
Cinemas both here in Ireland and the UK have been under intense pressure since the pandemic has begun, and while many COVID-19 measures have been put in place and no cluster has been traced to any cinema, they have been forced to operate with many restrictions and, in some cases, closures over local lockdowns. All cinemas in Dublin are currently shuttered until Level 3 restrictions ease.
So far, only three major studio release dates remain in place for 2020 - 'Dune', 'Wonder Woman 1984', and 'Soul'. However, given MGM / Universal's decision to move 'No Time To Die', it seems more and more likely that these release dates will be pushed back until next year as well.
This would mean that 2020, with the exception of 'Tenet' and 'The New Mutants', will have been scrubbed of major studio releases from March onwards.