Cineworld & Regal temporarily closing US and UK theaters
As people try to return to normalcy with the global pandemic still affecting major regions, movie theater giant Cineworld has elected to temporarily close all of its United Kingdom theaters and its Regal Cinemas locations in the United States, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The company previously confirmed they were ruminating on the possible decision to do so as some areas in both the UK and the US continue to see fluctuating spikes in new cases and now they’ve confirmed that they will be moving forward with the shutdown, affecting 536 Regal locations and 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse cinemas beginning October 8.
“As major US. markets, mainly New York, remained closed and without guidance on reopening timing, studios have been reluctant to release their pipeline of new films,” the chain said in a statement. “In turn, without these new releases, Cineworld cannot provide customers in both the US and the UK – the company’s primary markets – with the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theatres against the backdrop of COVID-19.”
Cineworld’s stock recently saw a major 47 percent drop in the London market earlier this morning before eventually settling at around a 40 percent drop, with the company stating that the closures will affect an estimated 45,000 employees.
“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,” CEO Mooky Greidinger, said in a statement.
“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,” Greidinger continued.
The decision also comes as analysts believe that the continued delay of major cinematic releases due to the pandemic will have major negative consequences for the film industry, with major directors including James Cameron (Avatar), Christopher Nolan (Tenet), Zack Snyder (Justice League) and Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), among others, pleading to Congress to help save theaters.
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