Regal, Cineworld Confirms Temporary Suspension of U.S., U.K. Operations

Regal Cinemas owner Cineworld Group has confirmed the temporary suspension of its U.S. and U.K operations from Thursday.

In a statement released Monday, the group said: “In response to an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape and sustained key market closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cineworld confirms that it will be temporarily suspending operations at all of its 536 Regal theatres in the U.S. and its 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theaters in the U.K. from Thursday, 8 October 2020.”

The group attributed the closure to the pipeline of studio films drying up, as major U.S. markets, especially New York, remain closed. “Without these new releases, Cineworld cannot provide customers in both the U.S. 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 closure will impact some 45,000 employees, the group said. “Cineworld’s main priorities remain the safety of customers and employees, cash preservation and cost reduction,” the group said.

“This is not a decision we made lightly, and we did everything in our power to support safe and sustainable re-openings in all of our markets – including meeting, and often exceeding, local health and safety guidelines in our theatres and working constructively with regulators and industry bodies to restore public confidence in our industry,” Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger said.

“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, 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.”

On Oct. 2, the November release of keenly anticipated James Bond film “No Time To Die” was pushed back to Apr. 2, 2021.

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