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Regal Cinemas announces it will close its theaters temporarily, blames pandemic

Regal Cinemas, including those in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York, will close Thursday as the company continues to lose revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regal Cinemas are owned by the U.K. company, Cineworld Group PLC.

The company announced that it was temporarily closing all 536 of its theaters in the U.S. after news that the release of the latest James Bond movie, “No Time to Die,” was being delayed until 2021.

The movie was expected to be a big box office draw at a time when movie-going is down dramatically.

“Studios have been reluctant to release their pipeline of new films. In turn, without these new releases, Cineworld cannot provide customers in both the US and the UK – the company’s primary markets – with the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theatres against the backdrop of COVID-19,” the company said in a release.

The theaters are open today, but are mostly showing older movie titles such as “Bridesmaids” and “Crazy Rich Asians.”

After that point the company said it will continue to monitor the market and adjust plans as needed.

“This is not a decision we made lightly, and we did everything in our power to support safe and sustainable reopenings in all of our markets,” said Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld. “Cineworld will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations in these markets 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.”

The theaters have been operating with social distancing protocol since late August.

Movie-goers and employees have been required to wear masks inside the theaters, seating has been limited and the theaters have been offering things like contactless payment and online ordering to limit interactions.

The company said the closures will impact approximately 45,000 employees.

Stacy Wescoe
Writer Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at swescoe@bridgetowermedia.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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