Vue Cinemas’ chief executive told the BBC that the chain hopes to reopen its UK sites in mid-July.
Tim Richards said on Tuesday that management is still negotiating with the authorities, while he expressed confidence on maintaining social distancing.
“We are seeing our markets in Europe opening before ours,” Richards said. “We are trying to work with the government to demonstrate we are not like sporting fixtures and pop concerts.”
Although it met a barrage of criticism, it was the top riser on the FTSE 100 on Tuesday morning.
“It’s a smart move that helps tell customers and shareholders the company is still alive while giving Carnival a chance to collect some bookings revenue,” commented Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group.
“August is till three months out and plenty could change but the timing fits the timeline indicated by many governments on easing travel restrictions.”
According to guidelines published by the UK government, airlines are expected to apply social distancing measures and to be “socially responsible in the decisions they make”, while the public is encouraged not to fly.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to update on plans to lift restrictions on Sunday.
Currently, only essential businesses such as supermarkets and pharmacies are operational.
Certain activities, such as restaurants offering home deliveries, have been granted permission to stay open.
According to Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, only a modest lift to restrictions will be sustainable for the country.
“The UK population’s relatively high density and usage of public transport suggests that normal life cannot be resumed,” he commented.
“In addition, the UK’s very high labour force participation rate means that a material economic reboot will rely on re-opening schools, where social distancing is difficult to implement.”