Cineworld has confirmed it will temporarily close all of its 536 Regal theatres in the US and its 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theatres in the UK from Thursday, in response to an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape and sustained key market closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These closures will impact approximately 45,000 employees, said the company in a statement.
As major US markets, mainly New York, remained closed and without guidance on reopening timing, studios have been reluctant to release their pipeline of new films, the world’s second biggest cinema chain said.
”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.”
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 – 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. 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,” said Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld.