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The coronavirus pandemic has slowed down or entirely stopped the filming of movies. Due to the lack of new movies to show, Regal Cinemas has decided to close locations in the U.S. and the U.K temporarily.
Cineworld, the British company that owns Regal Cinemas in the United States, has confirmed on Monday that all 663 of Regal’s movie theaters throughout the U.S. and Britain would be closing on Thursday.
They have about 536 theaters in the U.S. and about 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theaters in the U.K. The Cineworld group said the closure would affect 45,000 jobs overall.
Forty thousand people would be unemployed in the United States and 5,000 in Britain. Regal is the second-largest movie theater operator in the states behind AMC, 90 percent of the company’s revenue was generated in the United States and Britain last year. The company’s CEO, Mooky Greidinger, said:
We are especially grateful for and proud of the hard work our employees put in to adapt our theaters to the new protocols and cannot underscore enough how difficult this decision was, this is not a decision we made lightly, and we did everything in our powers to support a safe and sustainable reopening in the U.S.
The news of Regal Cinemas closure caused shares of Cineworld to drop 60 percent on Monday when the stock market opened in London, and during the day, it was trading at about 38 percent. In September, the company reported a pretax loss of $1.6 billion for the first half of 2020. Overall they operate 780 locations in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania.
Over the summer, Regal reopened in parts of the United States and Europe. About 200 Regal theaters remained shut down in California and New York since the coronavirus pandemic began in the spring. The two cities are the country’s largest cinema market.
Spiking coronavirus cases caused officials to reintroduce restrictions that caused movie theaters to remain closed. On Sunday, the U.S. reported more than 34,000 new confirmed cases, and the numbers are increasing daily. The company said they would continue to monitor the situation and are waiting for more concrete guidance on reopening.
Written by Jessica Letcher
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
Deadline: Cineworld Confirms “Temporary Suspension” Of Theatres In U.S. & UK From Thursday; Jake Kanter
Business Insider: Regal Cinemas confirms plans to close all 500 of its US theaters in a move that will affect 40,000 employees as the pandemic ravages the movie industry; Graham Rapier
The New York Times: Regal Owner to Close Theaters, a Blow to the Movie Industry: Live Updates; Eshe Nelson and Gillian Friedman
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Daniel Grosvenor’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Kevin Harbor’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License