Advice & Support

The impact of COVID-19 on UK film exhibition

The results of our exhibition sector surveys during COVID-19.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic period, the ICO offered support to and became a central portal of advice and resources for UK independent cinemas and sector workers.

We conducted three industry surveys during this time – the first, in March 2020, to evaluate the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the exhibition industry to understand how cinemas could survive the initial crisis and be sustainable following resumption of service.

Survey of cinema workers and employers on the impact of COVID-19, March 2020

Survey on the impact of reopening venues with social distancing, July 2020

Following government advice that cinemas could reopen in July 2020, we surveyed UK independent cinemas, film festivals and community venues in May 2020 to create a picture of sector views on proposals for reopening.

Download the full survey report

Survey of the independent cinema sector – the continuing impact of COVID-19, August 2021

Finally, nineteen months on from the onset of the pandemic, following the first national lockdown, three further shutdowns, and a recovery package from the government, we conducted a follow-up survey to help us understand the continuing impacts on the independent cinema sector.

Download the full survey report

Please note: these reports offer a top line summary of our surveys only. To discuss them in more detail, contact:

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