More than 40% of cinemas in China could go bust according to a bleak report by the China Film Association.
Having been temporary closed during the virus pandemic, audiences may struggle to return, the association says.
Millions of Chinese have enjoyed watching movies online during cinema closures thanks to a wide range of streaming services.
As a result, thousands could shut permanently in a “massive bloodbath” predicts one Chinese business expert.
There are now more than 12,000 cinemas in China according to market research firm IBISWorld. This figure has more than doubled in the last decade as China has embraced movie-going.
But four out of ten said they “are very likely to close” in the near future, according to the China Film Association survey. This could mean nearly 5,000 cinemas going bust as a result of the pandemic.
Cinemas have been among the last venues to reopen in China, as lockdown measures are gradually lifted. The Chinese government said that cinemas, along with other indoor entertainment venues, could reopen with limited bookings.