A major UK cinema chain has confirmed plans to temporarily close its sites in the UK and US.

Reports emerged yesterday that Cineworld, which has several locations in Scotland, was set to close its cinemas after big studios started to delay their major film releases to wait for better audiences.

Now, bosses have confirmed the news, with a decision which will affect around 45,000 employees.

A total of 127 cinemas will close in the UK from this Thursday.

READ MORE: Cineworld 'set to close all 128 of its cinemas' in the UK as industry becomes 'unviable' - reports

Cineworld chief executive Mooky Greidinger said: “This is not a decision we made lightly, and we did everything in our power to support safe and sustainable reopenings in all of our markets – including meeting, and often exceeding, local health and safety guidelines in our theatres and working constructively with regulators and industry bodies to restore public confidence in our industry.

“We are especially grateful for and proud of the hard work our employees put in to adapt our theatres to the new protocols and cannot underscore enough how difficult this decision was.

"Cineworld will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations in these markets at the appropriate time, when key markets have more concrete guidance on their reopening status and, in turn, studios are able to bring their pipeline of major releases back to the big screen.”

Despite reopening, Cineworld reported a £1.3bn loss for the first half of the year because of the Covid-19 crisis.

READ MORE: Cineworld issues warning over its future after half-year losses of £1.3bn

The cinema chain, which is the largest in the UK and second largest in the world behind Chinese firm Wanda Cinemas, posted a pre-tax loss for the six months to June compares with profits of £110m in the previous year.

The chain had reopened 561 out of 778 sites worldwide as lockdown restrictions have been eased.