Cinema chain Everyman (EMAN.L) made positive noises in a trading update after a long, hard year, looking to future growth and long-awaited blockbusters such as the new James Bond film in coming months.
On Thursday morning in London it said that all of its 33 venues had reopened safely in May and June, with a return to profit and cash generation, while social distancing measures were in place until 19 July.
All venues had been closed for 20 weeks – the best part of the last year due to lockdowns.
Everyman said it used the closure period to upgrade a number of kitchens to improve speed of service and carried out small refurbishments to enhance the customer experience on re-opening.
Admissions in the period since re-opening until 1 July reached 66% of 2019 levels, ahead of director expectations. This is despite restrictions such as the Rule of Six, table service, 50% capacity restrictions in venues, and social distancing all being in place during this period.
Shares rose 0.4% following the report.
Cinema businesses across the country have been betting on the new James Bond movie bringing in sales when it is eventually launched. No Time To Die, the latest in the franchise, is set for release at the end of September following a prolonged wait as movie theatres closed their doors.
After first being pulled as coronavirus took hold in early 2020, the movie had been due to come out in April 2021, with the crew claiming they pushed it back from November 2020 so it could "be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience".
There had already been delays to the 25th Bond film after director Danny Boyle quit in 2018.
"With significant available liquidity and more positive market conditions we are excited to be again turning our focus to plans for growth. We're expecting you, Mr Bond," said Alex Scrimgeour, Everyman CEO.
Watch: Daniel Craig reveals why he was ready to quit Bond franchise