Regal cinemas announces temporary closing of all U.S. theaters

Theater chain operates local cinema at the Mall at Fairfield Commons

In response to a challenging theatrical landscape during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cineworld, the parent company of Regal cinemas, announced this morning that it will be temporarily closing all of its 536 Regal theaters in the United States effective Thursday, Oct. 8.

Great Britain-based Cineworld is the second-largest theater chain in the U.S. and operates the Regal Cinemas at the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek and the Deerfield Town Center in Mason.

The Beavercreek theater closed in March under the state’s mandatory economic shutdown put in place to battle the spread of COVID-19. It reopened Aug. 21 and has been showing predominately classic films at a discount price.

“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 theaters 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 theaters to the new protocols and cannot underscore enough how difficult this decision was,” said Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld, in a news release.

Theaters in major U.S. markets, including New York, have remained closed. As a result, studios have been waiting to release new films, according to the news release. These new releases are critical to success and driving ticket sales.

These closures will impact approximately 40,000 employees across the U.S., according to the news release.

“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,” Greidinger said in the news release.

MGM Holdings announced the new James Bond film “No Time to Die” would not be released until April 2021, the second postponement of that movie and one of multiple movie debuts that have been delayed due to the pandemic.

According to the release, Regal will monitor the situation and resume operations when studios are able to bring big releases back to the big screen.

Theaters are struggling to attract customers and can only seat a limited number of people due to social distancing requirements. Currently, Regal is showing a mix of new movies, like “Tenet,” and older ones like “The Empire Strikes Back.”

No layoff notices have been filed with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services since the theater reopened in August.

Media contacts at Cineworld and Regal could not be reached for comment.

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