I WORRY about the future of the new cinema at the heart of Basildon’s town centre, not least because of the sad economy of its rivals.

Cineworld is already looking for an injection of $200million to stay alive, partly because of the streaming networks such as Netflix and Amazon encroaching on the traditional exclusivity cinema chains have up until now enjoyed over new releases up to now. Fears are now being raised over the long-term future of the multiplex operators.

Covid-associated delays to films such as the blockbuster No Time to Die, the latest James Bond franchise, destroyed any hopes of a meaningful film sector recovery in 2020, and more than ever cinemas are having to rely on high-earning films to get them through to rougher periods of the year, just as our theatres rely on pantomime income to support them throughout the year.

The film producers are just not financing future blockbusters because of the uncertainty of income in these lockdown times, which means the films backers don’t get the necessary return on their investment.

So, by the time the Basildon cinema is ready to open, there may well be a drain on the quality of films necessary to make a new cinema financially viable.

It would be sad indeed to see film product drying up at a point where our long-waited cinema is due to open, so I hope our council has taken this into account.

The entertainment industry has never been a sure fire winner, even at the best of times.


Rosslyn Road, Billericay


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