Global cinema giant Cineworld is set to temporarily close its UK sites in the coming weeks, it has been reported.
The Sunday Times says the firm is writing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to say the industry is now “unviable”.
The firm says it has been hit by delays in the release of big-budget films, putting 5,500 jobs at risk.
The premiere of the 007 film No Time To Die has been postponed twice and is now due for release in April 2021.
It is hoped that the Cineworld cinemas will be able to reopen next year, with staff being asked to accept redundancy in the hope of rejoining the company when theatres open again.
The BBC understands its sites in the US, where it operates 546 theatres, could also be forced to close.