Councillors have spoken of their concern over the possible loss of Shrewsbury's multiplex cinema as Cineworld shares plummeted amid fears of the chain going bankrupt.
Shares dived by two-thirds within minutes of reports by the Wall Street Journal that the world’s second biggest cinema business has hired lawyers from Kirkland & Ellis and consultants from AlixPartners to advise the bankruptcy process.
Cineworld has an eight screen cinema at Old Potts Way, Shrewsbury and also has a venue at Southwater, in Telford town centre - both are thought to be under threat.
The world's second biggest cinema chain, which employs 30,000 worldwide, has 128 cinemas in the UK and Ireland.
The cinema in Shrewsbury was the third one Cineworld opened, back in 1998.
Deputy mayor for Shrewsbury Councillor Becky Wall said the news was concerning for the town and the loss of a cinema would be a major blow.
She said: "I go with my son regularly and it is something that sees a lot of families going so it would be a big loss, particularly for the regulars but also for those who go only occasionally.
"Shrewsbury has a football ground, it has a market, it has a bowling alley and at the moment it has a cinema. All of them add to the mix of giving people options of what to do with their leisure time and the loss of any of them would be felt hard.
"Plus there is the employment issue, I'm not sure how many Cineworld employs in Shrewsbury but it is quite a few and in the present economy any loss of jobs would be sorely felt.
"I hope something can be done to save the chain in the next few weeks and keep cinema in Shrewsbury."
Belle Vue councillor Kate Halliday, whose ward includes the cinema, echoed the views and said she hoped the cinema wouldn't close.
Telford mayor Raj Mehta said he hoped the Cineworld at the council-owned Southwater site could be kept open but said the plight of the chain was probably indicative of people's changing habits in using screening services to get film entertainment.