A statement from HOME on the challenges facing cinemas

The news from Cineworld and Odeon highlights just what a challenging time this is for cinemas, and our hearts go out to all their staff who have been affected. At HOME we are fortunate that we do not rely on blockbusters to attract our core audience, however the knock-on effect of uncertainty in the industry means that other new release titles which we were planning to show may also be affected. Since reopening we’ve enjoyed seeing our audiences come back, and we’ve been lucky enough to see many of our socially-distanced screenings sell out, which demonstrates how much people have missed independent cinema.

Tomorrow we’ll be announcing to the public the lineup for this year’s FilmFear, which features classic films such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Candyman, but no new releases – illustrating the extent to which coronavirus has affected the 2020 release schedule.

As we’ve had so many sold out screenings we’d recommend that if you’re planning a visit that you book in advance in order to avoid disappointment, but we also want to highlight once again the cost of those empty seats to the arts industry. We’re currently holding over 700 seats off sale, each one with a potential income of up to £130 per week. Our Empty Seats campaign is asking anyone who loves independent cinema and can afford to donate to do so, to help ensure that we are still here when all this is over.

And if you’re planning a visit to the cinema you can see all the measures we’ve put in place to make your visit safe and enjoyable on our website – we’ve been really moved by the number of people posting on social media about how much they appreciate everything we’re doing. This is an unprecedented challenge, but one we’re determined to come through so we can continue to provide great films, theatre and art for our audiences.

Dave Moutrey

Director and CEO