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Odeon cinema screens to be rented out by gamers

UK-based cinema chain Odeon has announced that gamers can rent out their screens, with venues unable to welcome its usual crowds due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The new Big Screen Gaming service was unveiled on social media, with the chain instructing interested parties to email the firm for a quote.

The Odeon has made no mention of pricing details, but said it is offering a 10 per cent discount for those who wish to make a booking. However, in numerous responses on Twitter, the company can be seen confirming that quotes begin from £100.

YouTube star PewDiePie was the first to take advantage of the new scheme, with Odeon directing fans to his Instagram page to see the offer in action. The popular figure can be seen using one of the big screens to play Super Smash Bros Ultimate.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Odeon to reduce the operating hours at a quarter of its cinemas across its 120 venues within the UK and Ireland, which will now only open from Thursday until Sunday.

The company has also recently announced that structural changes will be taking place, after it was forced to respond to claims by the Odeon Workers Union that all salaried members of staff in customer facing roles are to be made redundant. The company said that the changes are expected “to have an impact on some roles” moving forward.

In the US, AMC Theatres is also allowing customers to rent out entire theatres for just under $100. People can watch the latest releases with friends and family, providing COVID-19 rules are followed.

AMC has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and admitted earlier this month that it could go bust by the end of the year or by early 2021 if attendance figures remain low after reopening.

The world’s largest exhibitor warned that attendance at 494 of its 598 US locations that it has opened in recent weeks is down approximately 85 per cent.

Image: Ewan Munro / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Edited for size