Saturday, October 24, 2020

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Regal Cinemas may close US movie theaters again due to pandemic

may US due to

IRVINE, CA - SEPTEMBER 17, 2020: The Regal Irvine Spectrum has reopened with a new high-tech look  on September 17, 2020 in Irvine, California. It was closed for months during the pandemic, but during that time the 21 screen theatre has renovated seating, concessions and individual theaters.(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Gina Ferazzi via Getty Images

Movie theaters are still struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic despite efforts to keep them open. Cineworld has partly confirmed reports at Variety and Reuters that it’s looking at once again (if temporarily) closing its movie theaters in the US, UK and Ireland, including Regal Cinemas theaters in the US. It stressed that it hadn’t reached a decision and didn’t outline reasoning, but a shutdown wouldn’t be surprising regardless.

According to Variety, any closures would happen due to a lack of top-tier movies that would bring customers to ailing theaters. the James Bond movie No Time to Die delayed to April 2021 and few other big titles expected to get theatrical releases in 2020, Cineworld didn’t have much reason to keep screens available. Regal only started reopening US theaters in August to accommodate Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.

The realities of the pandemic might also play a role. COVID-19 is surging in these markets. Moviegoers may be further worried about going to theaters, and governments might reinstitute lockdown measures that could force closures regardless.

If the closures take place, they could prompt large-scale job cuts. They would also underscore the importance of streaming movies during the pandemic. With theaters unlikely to bounce back until there’s a vaccine, digital releases might be the only way to see new movies short of lengthy delays.

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