Thepandemic's impact on the movie business is leading to the temporary closure of Regal's 536 US theaters, the theater chain's parent company Cineworld announced on Monday.
"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," Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld, said in a statement.
"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."
The company attributed the decision to the closure of theaters in major markets like New York and the decision of studios to push off major new releases until next year. Recent postponements include, while this past Friday saw the .
"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," Greidinger added.
"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."
The company says that the closures will "impact approximately 40,000 employees across the US."