The magic of cinema isn’t just about film

Cinema is fading. Borat went straight to Amazon Prime, where he is smaller, and Bond 25 — no time to die eh? — is delayed until next year. In response Cineworld has ‘temporarily’ closed its cinemas and the smaller film houses are struggling. Millennials and Generation Z don’t mind, but I am no such creature: I was an usherette at Options in Kingston-upon-Thames in 1990. Do they know that cinema remains, despite its best efforts, the most inspiring kind of mass culture? Dreams mean nothing to the gilded and interesting: they do not need them. But I, an ordinary suburban child, did need cinema, specifically Options, which is now an

Can cinemas survive a year of Covid restrictions?

Cineworld is to close its 128 cinemas – saying that the Covid restrictions have made its business “unviable”. It’s terrible to see that word applied to the cinema industry – and even worse to think of the 5,500 jobs this will impact. But the truth is that many businesses can’t survive what will be a year’s worth of restrictions – based on PM’s timeline where he’s talking about some kind of scientific breakthrough by Easter. The final straw for Cineworld was the delay of the new 007 film No Time to Die, now due out next April on the logic that this would maximise takings.  But how many cinemas will still be around then to show this