EXCLUSIVE: In sign of what many are expecting is to come for all theaters in the U.S., Regal Cinemas is shutting down all their locations starting Tuesday, March 17 as a precaution amid the current circumstances. All theaters will remain closed until further notice. Regal is the second-biggest chain in the U.S. with 7,155 screens in 542 theaters in 42 states, and is the first big chain out of the top 3 to close.
Many cinemas have been largely deciding to close down in compliance with local ordinances, limiting capacity to either 50% per auditorium, or like AMC, 50 people.
“Any time, at any Regal, it’s our goal to provide a safe and healthy environment for our employees and guests,” stated Mooky Greidinger, Cineworld CEO to Deadline. “At this time, we have made the difficult decision to close our theaters. We value our movie-loving customers and have no doubt we will be serving them again as soon as possible with a full slate of Hollywood blockbusters. The Cineworld Group and Regal Theatres are strong, standing on solid ground and our continued goal is to be The Best Place to Watch a Movie!
Last night, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a shutdown of their cities’ cinemas, bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues and gyms. Other communities are following suit, to the point where distributors can’t keep track of all the theater closings.
Earlier today, in anticipation that the nation’s exhibition infrastructure is closing down for the first time over an extended period in its history, Universal announced that it was making current in-theater releases available for on-demand rental in homes this Friday —The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Emma, with its Easter weekend theatrical release Trolls World Tour opening day-and-date in theaters and for in-home rental on April 10.
Last July, Regal launched its own monthly subscription program, Regal Unlimited, allowing moviegoers to see a multitude of movies for one price between $18-$23 a month.
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