U.K. Cinemas to Close or Screen Queen Elizabeth II’s Funeral for Free on Sept. 19

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Most of the major U.K. cinema chains will remain closed on Monday, Sept. 19, as a mark of respect to Queen Elizabeth II, whose funeral it is on that day, while others have chosen to remain open to screen the funeral to the public for free.

Most cinemas, including the larger operators such as Odeon, Cineworld, Picturehouse, Showcase and The Light will be closing their sites for all of Monday. The BFI cinema sites, including BFI Southbank and BFI Imax, will also remain closed.

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However there are others such as Vue, Curzon as well as the smaller chains Reel, Savoy, Arc and Picturedrome and a significant number of smaller venues, that plan to screen the funeral for free to people who wish to come along.

Variety understands that around 150 U.K. cinema sites plan to screen the funeral.

“Clearly all U.K. cinema operators are sensitive to the public mood and responding accordingly at what is a very sad time for many across the country,” U.K. Cinema Association chief executive Phil Clapp told Variety.

Arts venues in the U.K. are not obliged to close during the mourning period or the day of the funeral. Guidance from the U.K. government states: “Public museums, galleries, or similar venues are not obliged to close during the national mourning period. Organizations 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 organizations.”

Meanwhile, the BFI has canceled the first day of its London Film Festival pre-festival program because it was set to clash with the Queen’s funeral. And Universal has postponed the U.K. release of Ol Parker’s “Ticket to Paradise,” starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts. The film, which was due to release Sept. 16, will now release on Sept. 20, a day after the Queen’s funeral.

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