Helios Chain Reopens Cinemas in Poland

    Helios Dream screening room in Łódź Helios Dream screening room in Łódź credit: www.helios.pl

    WARSAW: The Helios multiplex cinema chain reopened its cinemas on 21 May 2021, while other key players, Multikino and Cinema City, take more time to reopen.

    The Polish government allowed the reopening of cinemas on 21 May 2021, along with theatres, operas and philharmonic halls. Helios opened all its 50 venues at midnight on 20-21 May 2021, while Multikino and Cinema City are gearing up for a reopening a week later.

    Helios noted high ticket sales in the first weekend after the cinemas opened. "Agora expects cinemas to reach 40-50 percent of the turnout recorded in 2019 in the third quarter", said Tomasz Jagiełło, board member of Agora, the majority shareholders of Helios. "We have ten times higher pre-weekend sales after this long break than before the first weekend after the first lockdown. We have sold 10 times more tickets", Jagiełło also said.

    In the coming weeks, Helios will show, among others, films awarded with Oscars this year, as well as the final of the Football Champions League. 

    In 2020 the number of viewers in fixed cinemas decreased by 68.4% compared to 2019, according to the latest data from the Central Statistical Office of Poland.

    Cinemas were closed at the beginning of November 2020 due to the difficult pandemic situation. In mid-February 2021, they were allowed to receive guests at half of their capacity, but the largest operators Cinema City, Multikino and Helios did not decide to open their venues, arguing that they had too little time to prepare.

    In the second half of March 2021, with the rise of another wave of infections, the government again ordered the closure of cinemas and theatres, first in selected provinces and from 20 March throughout the country.