Cinemas in several large Ukrainian cities have started to reopen, but with restrictions in place in light of the ongoing war with Russia. The two largest Ukrainian cinema chains Multiplex and Planeta Kino are operating cinemas in a few key cities, though some cinemas have been destroyed by the war and cannot be reopened. As well, there is only a gradual flow of new film titles. The returns on cinema is part of the gradual normalisation of life in parts of Ukraine where the Russian invasion either failed (Kyiv area) or parts that were subject to remote rocket attacks (Lviv).
Cinemas have initially offered films that were either playing at the start of the latest invasion on 24 February. These include films such as “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage,” “House of Gucci,” “Uncharted” and “Sing 2,” as well as older titles such as “Green Book” and “Gentlemen.” Negotiations were ongoing to make “The Batman” the first major new title to screen.
The CEO of Planeta Kino, Natalya Baydan, was quoted as saying that the aim is to re-open cinemas in all cities with a population greater than one million, with one exception: “Kharkiv is questionable — I don’t know when we can open there, the situation is difficult: there are still active battles and shelling not far away.” Baydan remained in Kyiv throughout the latest Russian invasion. She notes that security measures have been in place in Ukrainian cinemas since the first Russian invasion of 2014, with numerous bomb hoax scares, leading to evacuations. Ukrainian intelligence service SBU informed the cinemas that such calls were received from the territory of ORDLO (Russian occupied Ukraine). These hoax calls were said to have become especially frequent towards the end of 2021.