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Cineworld is set to close all of its UK and Ireland sites

The chain operates one cinema in Dublin city.

Image: Mike Egerton/PA Images

CINEMA CHAIN CINEWORLD is set to close its UK and Irish sites in the coming weeks.

The closures come as the release of the latest James Bond film was further delayed from November to spring 2021, the PA news agency understands.

As first reported in The Sunday Times, bosses will write to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to tell them that cinema has become “unviable” as studios keep putting back blockbuster releases.

The cinema chain may not re-open its doors until the end of the year or early 2021, the Sunday Times also reported.

The chain operates one Irish cinema in Dublin city centre, which is currently closed due to the capital being under Level Three of restrictions.

The closure of its 128 sites across the UK and Ireland will put up to 5,500 jobs at risk.

In July, the British government promised a package of more than £1.5 billion to help the arts and culture industries forced to shut down earlier this year as a result of the pandemic.

Cineworld had reopened most of its cinemas in July when lockdown measures were eased across the UK and Ireland.

Daniel Craig’s final outing as spy James Bond will not hit big screens until next April, it was announced on Friday.

No Time To Die was originally scheduled for release in April 2020, but was first pushed back to November as a result of the pandemic.

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A statement on the film’s official Twitter account said: “We understand the delay will be disappointing to our fans but we now look forward to sharing NO TIME TO DIE next year.”

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Cineworld said that “we can confirm we are considering the temporary closure of our UK 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.”

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