Cineworld, parent company of Regal, announced that it will be temporarily suspending operations at all of its 536 Regal theatres in the U.S., as of Thursday, October 8, 2020. These closures will impact approximately 40,000 employees across the U.S.
The company attributes the decision to the increasingly challenging theatrical landscape and sustained key market closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As major U.S. markets, mainly New York, remained closed and without guidance on reopening timing, studios have been reluctant to release its pipeline of new films.
“This is not a decision we made lightly, and we did everything in our power to support a safe and sustainable reopening in the U.S.– from putting in place robust health and safety measures at our theatres to joining our industry in making a collective commitment to the CinemaSafe protocols to reaching out to state and local officials to educate them on these initiatives. 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,” said Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld.
Greidinger added, “Despite our work, positive feedback from our customers and the fact that there has been no evidence to date linking any COVID cases with cinemas, we have not been given a route to reopen in New York, although other indoor activities – like indoor dining, bowling and casinos were already allowed. The prolonged closures have had a detrimental impact on the release slate for the rest of the year, and, in turn, our ability to supply our customers with the lineup of blockbusters they’ve come to expect from us. As such, it is simply impossible to continue operations in our primary markets.”