UK cinemas to close or screen Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday
Many of the UK’s cinemas will close on the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral – while others will remain open to screen the event for free
Major chains including Cineworld, Odeon and Showcase will shut their sites on September 19 in a mark of respect.
Smaller operators including The Light – which has cinemas in locations such as Cambridge, Sheffield and Stockport – will also close their doors for the day.
Other cinema chains including Curzon and Arc have chosen to screen the funeral for free while cancelling the rest of their programming that day.
An Arc statement on Twitter reads: “We have to decided to screen Her Majesty The Queen’s State Funeral on Bank Holiday Monday 19th September at 11am.
“This is a free event but pre-booking your seat is essential. There will be no other shows taking place while the funeral is broadcast.”
The UK release of romantic comedy Ticket To Paradise, starring Hollywood A-listers George Clooney and Julia Roberts, has also been pushed back from September 16 until September 20 – the day after the funeral.
Tuesday also marks the end of the period of national mourning.
Although not obliged to close, many museums, galleries and other arts and culture venues will close their doors.
Government guidance says: “Organisations may choose to close on the day of the State Funeral, however there is no obligation to do so and this is at the discretion of individual organisations.
“As with other organisations, these institutions may wish to display or share images of previous Royal visits, particularly if they are one of Her Majesty’s patronages.”
Phil Clapp, chief executive of the UK Cinema Association, said: “While we have shared with our members official guidance which suggests that there is no requirement to close, clearly all UK cinema operators are sensitive to the public mood and responding accordingly at what is a very sad time for many across the country.”
Mr Clapp said his current understanding was that 150 UK sites plan to screen the funeral.
It comes as historic and heritage sites, such as Stonehenge, HMS Belfast and Hadrian’s Wall, also announced plans to close on the day of the Queen’s funeral.
Retailers Morrisons, Marks & Spencer, Lidl and Asda have also said they will shut.