Cineworld Closure Press Release

Tuesday 6 October 2020

We were very sad to hear that Cineworld has temporarily closed all of its cinemas and our hearts go out to its staff. These are very hard times for cinema, and particularly for the multiplexes which rely so heavily on the big studio films.

The cinema industry has worked really hard to adopt all the government guidelines and make the cinema-experience Covid-19-safe for its customers, and we have been pleased to see that audiences are now returning throughout the country, but the big studio films cost so much to distribute, they rely upon huge audiences to get their money back. Unfortunately, the pandemic had led to cinemas having to vastly reduce the number of seats they can sell in order to keep their customers safe and socially distanced and as a consequence, the distributors of the big releases have decided to hold back many of those titles until they can achieve full audiences again. The multiplexes no longer have the constant pipeline of big films to show.

Fortunately, the situation is very different for us in the independent sector; at Chichester Cinema at New Park we are not reliant upon big studio films; we present the very best independent British films and titles from all over the world. There is a wealth of fine films which the independent distributors are still eager for us to show and so the citizens of Chichester can still enjoy a rich programme of quality cinema!

If you look at our Coming Soon section, you will see that from October 16 we will reopen with an exciting and eclectic array of films which include the hotly anticipated AMMONITE starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan; the musical comedy MILITARY WIVES with Kristen Scott Thomas; the third collaboration between Bill Murray and Sophia Coppola ON THE ROCKS; the beautifully performed chronicle of a marriage break-up HOPE GAP with Annette Bening and Bill Nighy and the feel-good MISBEHAVIOUR about the 1970s Miss World incident with Keira Knightley and Jessie Buckley. Other delights include gems from the French Film Festival including the Cannes hit PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, Kore-eda’s family drama THE TRUTH starring Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke, and an unforgettable performance from Isabelle Huppert in drug caper MAMA WEED; we will be showing the Bolshoi Ballet’s ROMEO & JULIET and Michael Ball and Alfie Boe are BACK TOGETHER in our performance strand, together with Fleabag’s ‘hot priest’ Andrew Scott in Noel Coward’s hilarious comedy PRESENT LAUGHTER.

There is also the chance to see PARASITE, the Oscar-winning Korean film if missed the first time and to see Giuseppe Tornatore’s heart-rending gem CINEMA PARADISO with its searing score by the late Ennio Morricone; what better film to savour on the big screen to remind us all of the magic of cinema?

Lastly, as a charity, New Park relies upon a very dedicated set of volunteers to perform ushering duties and we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude that they are returning to us when we reopen. And while unfortunately we cannot provide any paid employment, if there are any Cineworld staff who wish to keep busy and still enjoy cinema until they return to work, all of our volunteering ushers get to see our film programme for free as our gesture of gratitude, so do feel free to get in contact with us. And indeed ushering opportunities are open to everyone, including any film-loving students out there!

Once again, many thanks to you, our patrons, Chichester Cinema Friends and supporters for renewing your membership, for your expressions of goodwill and for so kindly making donations to the cinema to help us through these challenging times.

We look forward to welcoming you back from October 16.

Walter Francisco
Cinema Director & Programmer