Lardlord AEW presses on with Cineworld legal action despite closures
Property firm AEW UK is reportedly going ahead with its legal action against beleaguered cinema chain Cineworld over unpaid rents, despite the closure of all of the firm’s theatres in the UK.
AEW is suing Cineworld for around £200,000 of unpaid rent.
The cinema operator has closed all of its UK and US cinemas after studios delayed the release of big budget films, such as the latest James Bond, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However the landlord is pressing ahead with the case despite Cinewold’s financial struggles, the Evening Standard reported.
The cinema chain has shuttered its 127 British Cineworld and Picturehouse screens and 536 US theatres, putting around 6,000 of its UK jobs at risk and up to 39,000 further afield.
British employees are set to lose their jobs this week, with the cinema chain hoping to rehire them at a later date, according to Sky News.
Cineworld is yet to earmark a reopening date for its venues next year, and said it is now assessing various sources of additional liquidity, including raising cash from shareholders to try and stay afloat.
Mooky Greidinger, Cineworld chief executive, said: “This is not a decision we made lightly, and we did everything in our power to support safe and sustainable reopenings in all of our markets.
“We are especially grateful for and proud of the hard work our employees put in to adapt our theatres to the new protocols and cannot underscore enough how difficult this decision was.”
A spokesperson from AEW UK Investment Management Limited said: “It’s our responsibility to our investors to ensure that we pursue unpaid rents on their behalf, where possible. When tenants withhold their rent in this way it is our investors who are ultimately losing out, most of these are pension funds – ordinary people saving for their retirement.”