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Coronavirus Kent: Cineworld, Odeon and Picturehouse close

Kent cinemas have announced they are closing in response to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, affecting its outlets in Kent.

The decision, which will see closures in Ashford, Dover, Maidstone, Canterbury, Chatham, Tunbridge Wells and Rochester, was announced yesterday following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's statement advising people to avoid public venues.

Ashford Cineworld will also close. Picture: Alan Langley
Ashford Cineworld will also close. Picture: Alan Langley

Cineworld have sites in the retail park in Strood, the Eureka Entertainment Centre in Ashford and St James' Street in Dover.

Whereas Odeon will see sites in the Dockside Outlet Shopping Centre in Chatham, Knight's Way in Tunbridge Wells, Lockmeadow Entertainment Centre in Maidstone and St George's place in Canterbury close following the announcement.

Picturehouse in Elwick Road in Ashford will also be shut until further notice.

Cinema UK, which represents the industry, said: "The priority now is to ensure that thousands working in the sector are helped during an exceptionally challenging period for them, and that UK cinema venues are supported during what, for many, represents an unprecedented challenge to their existence."

Cineworld Group chief executive Mooky Greidinger said: "At Cineworld and Picturehouse we are committed to providing safe and healthy environments for our employees and guests and have therefore made the difficult decision to close our cinemas in UK and Ireland until further notice.

"We deeply value our cinema-loving customers and have no doubt we will be serving everyone again as soon as possible with a full slate of Hollywood blockbusters and the best of independent films and content."

The manager of the Silver Screen cinema in Folkestone has also announced its closure.

Cineworld has announced that all of its cinemas are to close
Cineworld has announced that all of its cinemas are to close

Chris Lightwing said today that the movie theatre is now temporarily closed until further notice.

Mr Lightwing said: "At the Silver Screen Cinema we are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our staff and guests.

"Therefore, it is with great regret that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and following the most recent advice from Government and the UK Cinema Association, we have taken the decision to temporarily close the Silver Screen Cinema until further notice.

"Our team works very hard to provide Folkestone with a great cinema experience and the decision to close has not been taken lightly, particularly as we are a small independent business.

"Any remaining films on the current Folkestone Film Club programme will be rescheduled to the next programme later in the year. If you have a booking with us, our team will be contacting you shortly to discuss rescheduling or refunding.

"We will keep you updated on the situation via our website and social media channels, and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Silver Screen Cinema soon."

They were keen to emphasise that the closures are in no part due to any cases of Covid-19 in their cinemas, but are being done "as a precautionary measure to protect our customers and staff in line with government and health authority guidelines."

It is the latest company to temporarily close across Kent, with Ashford particularly affected after several retailers in the Designer Outlet shut their doors.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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