U.K. Cinemas to Offer Free Screenings of Queen Elizabeth’s State Funeral

As much of the U.K. plans to shut down on Sep. 19 in order to pay its respects to Queen Elizabeth II on the day she’s laid to rest, several cinemas have announced they’ll actually be keeping their doors open. But they’re not doing so to capitalize on any anti-monarchist audiences who might want a break from the wall-to-wall coverage. Instead they’ll be broadcasting the state funeral live, and for free.

The Curzon chain has announced it will be broadcasting the Queen’s funeral live at all of its venues from 11 a.m., when it officially starts. While it won’t being showing any other films during the funeral, normal programming is set to resume at 6 p.m. local time.

Vue, meanwhile, will be screening the funeral for free across a number of its sites, live from 10 a.m. However, the chain is going a step further and, perhaps to avoid being seen as profiteering, will limit its retail offering on the day to complimentary bottled water, with no other snacks or drinks available to purchase (at Curzon, food and drink will be available to buy as normal). Vue won’t be showing any other films on the day.

Elsewhere, most other chains are following the general move across the country and will be closing their doors. Odeon, Picturehouse, Cinewod and Showcase will all be shut and reopening on Tuesday, which also marks the end of the period of national mourning. Most stage theaters in central London will also close on Monday, with the Society of London Theatre and U.K. Theatre organizations saying the decision had been made “out of respect for all who are mourning.”

Earlier this week it was announced that Universal was postponing the U.K. release of rom-com Ticket to Paradise, starring Julia Roberts and George Clooney, until after the funeral, with the film now set to launch on Sept. 20.

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