World's Largest Cinema Chain Considering Temporary Closure

Updated 1 year ago
World's Largest Cinema Chain Considering Temporary Closure

Cineworld, the parent company of Regal Cinemas, has confirmed they are considering temporary closure of all their venues in the United States and United Kingdom. 

"We can confirm we are considering the temporary closure of our U.K. and US cinemas, but a final decision has not yet been reached. Once a decision has been made we will update all staff and customers as soon as we can."

DEADLINE reports that Regal will close "low grossing" cinemas and place others on a Friday/Saturday/Sunday schedule. 

The closure option has been put on the table due to the continued postponement by Hollywood studios of blockbusters, according to Variety, Hollywood Reporter and The Sunday Times (of London).  MGM announced Friday, Oct. 3, that James Bond's "No Time to Die" , due to open in mid-November had been pushed back into Spring 2021. 

Speaking to BBC Radio 5, the head of the UK Cinema Association Phil Clapp said that the closure of more cinemas was inevitable.

"I think at the moment, without any major titles between now and the end of the year there are few other options for many venues," he said in Hollywood Reporter's publication of the statement. "Cinema is a customer business and when customers can’t be persuaded to come back because there aren’t the film titles there, the options you have to continue operating are very limited."

 

Cineworld is the largest film exhibitor in the United Kingdom and the second largest in the  United States.  How the decision will impact specif already reopened Regal Cinemas is unknown. Regal's Nitro location as of early Sunday morning shows that it will switch to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday operation. 

"Variety understands from sources that the chain will close all sites in both countries as early as this week, with staff notified ahead of Monday. "  According to DEADLINE, the report has yet to be confirmed by Regal's stateside corporate representatives.

The Sunday Times also  wrote: "Cineworld, which has 128 theatres in the UK and Ireland, is this weekend writing to Boris Johnson and the culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, to say that the industry has become “unviable” because of the decision by film studios to postpone big-budget releases."

In a forward looking statement from  Variety, the company stated:

“If governments were to strengthen restrictions on social gathering, which may therefore oblige us to close our estate again or further push back movie releases, it would have a negative impact on our financial performance and likely require the need to raise additional liquidity.”


Viewers await word on whether A.M.C. and Cinemark will join Regal in shutting their doors again. AMC's theater in Morgantown, WV has them following a Friday through Tuesday schedule. 

Before the announcement of the "No Time to Die" postponement, some cinema chains had already began trimming their schedules due to the lack of new releases. 

 

Wide entries on the calendar this month including 101 Studios’ War With Grandpa on Friday, Freestyle’s 2 Hearts and Open Road’s Honest Thief on Oct. 16, and 20th Century Studio’s The Empty Man on Oct. 23.