Reading International today announced that it has begun limited cinema operations in New Zealand and will commence operating certain Reading Cinemas in Australia on June 11 in line with government and health department regulations following recent easing of certain government mandated COVID-19 closures.
“We are thrilled to welcome our guests and employees back to our cinemas in New Zealand and soon in Australia,” said Reading’s president and chief executive officer Ellen Cotter. “The aggressive approach of the New Zealand government to suppress the virus, alongside the successful efforts of Australia’s government, have paved the way for Reading to re-start these important operational divisions that have long underpinned our global cash flow. And, with the U.S. economy now re-opening, we also look forward to a gradual and safe ramping up of our U.S. cinema business and the completion of our 44 Union Square project in New York City.”
Cotter continued, “While the COVID-19 crisis is having a significant impact on our business, Reading’s geographically diversified cinema and real estate portfolio, coupled with our proactive steps to preserve cash and ensure sufficient liquidity, give us confidence in our future. We will be prepared to navigate the new reality and will continue to adjust our thinking in order to preserve the significant value in Reading.”
“In addition,” she continued, “we have developed new measures to protect the ongoing health and well-being of our guests, employees and local communities. Included in the measures are a reduction in auditorium and lobby capacities and a staggered seating approach to ensure appropriate physical distancing. An enhanced cleaning program is also being introduced. Our comprehensive set of protocols and procedures designed to protect our guests, employees and the community is described at Readingcinemas.co.nz. In New Zealand, we will also participate in the contact-tracing program.”
Prior to the anticipated release of movies from the major studios, including Christopher Nolan’s Tenet from Warner Bros. and Disney’s Mulan, programming for the New Zealand and Australian cinemas will include a mix of recently released major studio movies and older films combined with a variety of engaging community events.
Reading expects to reopen its 24 cinemas in California, Hawaii, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Virginia and Washington, D.C. sometime in July.
Reading International http://www.readingrdi.com