The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on London’s cinemas but it is too early to assess the number of permanent closures as most cinemas have only just reopened.
In 2019, I launched the first ever Cultural Infrastructure Plan and Map for London which records the number of cultural venues and facilities and sets out what is needed to protect and grow them. This data enabled my team to respond to the crisis with a targeted £2.3m Culture at Risk Business Support Fund, which has supported over 301 businesses including London’s treasured independent cinemas. My expanded Culture at Risk Office has supported over 750 businesses since March 2020, including cinemas.
In due course, a data update to the Cultural Infrastructure Map will help us to analyse closures. The impact of the pandemic on the cinema sector is expected to be ongoing for some time.