CINEMAGOERS returned to Cineworld venues in bigger numbers than before the pandemic as the new James Bond film hit cinemas last month.

The chain – which operates Poole’s 16-screen multiplex at Tower Park – said UK and Ireland admissions in October were 27 per cent higher than in the same month before the pandemic.

Chief executive Mooky Greidinger said: “We are thrilled to see audiences returning in significant numbers. Our partnerships with the studios are as strong as ever and with the incredible movie slate to come, there are real grounds for optimism in our industry.”

The latest 007 film arrived in cinemas at the end of September, alongside several other major releases, including Black Widow and Dune.

But the company’s revenue was down 20 per cent down in the US, although better than in September, when it was down 46 per cent.

In the rest of the world, revenue was down 16 per cent, compared to 22 per cent in September, the company said on Monday.

With new big titles coming out before the end of the year – including new Ghostbusters, Spider-Man and Matrix films – Cineworld said it would have several strong performers, as long as the “Covid-19 situation” does not deteriorate.

The company reported an “important milestone” in its pandemic recovery as its cash flow turned positive last month.

Mr Greidinger said: “I would especially highlight the great performances we saw from our newly refurbished cinemas in the US.

“These new cinemas clearly support our strategy to enhance the cinema experience for all our customers.

“I am really proud of the extraordinary efforts that everybody in the business has made to manage this company during an unprecedented time.

“Whilst there are challenges ahead, I believe these efforts have positioned us for great success in the future and we are all looking forward to continuing to welcome our customers to the best place to watch a movie.”

Earlier this year, Cineworld revealed a loss of 3.01billion US dollars – £2.2bn – for 2020.