SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Cineworld, the owner of Regal cinemas, will suspend operations at all of its theaters in the United States and the United Kingdom beginning on Thursday.
The news comes after a series of postponements of several big budget Hollywood films, including the latest James Bond film, “No Time To Die”.
“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 theatres 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 theatres to the new protocols and cannot underscore enough how difficult this decision was. 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. As such, it is simply impossible to continue operations in our primary markets.”Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld
Regal is the second largest theatre chain behind AMC. It operates some 536 movie theatres here in the United States, including at MGM Springfield.
Governor Baker signed an executive order that would move certain Massachusetts communities into the next phase of re-opening which include movie theaters. Springfield is listed as a high-risk community so they cannot move forward until they are out of the high-risk designation for three weeks.
According to a news release, Regal will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations 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.