Regal Cinemas has become the first major North American chain to announce closing of all their theaters as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. In a press release issued today, the chain–the second largest in North America–announced that they will close all their theaters starting Tuesday, March 17.
Regal Cinemas operates 7,155 screens across 542 theatres in 42 states, plus the District of Columbia and Guam. (Numbers as of 2/29/2020)
Said Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Regal’s parent company Cineworld:
“Any time, at any Regal, it’s our goal to provide a safe and healthy environment for our employees and guests. At this time, we have made the difficult decision to close our theatres. We value our movie-loving customers and have no doubt we will be serving them again as soon as possible with a full slate of Hollywood blockbusters. The Cineworld Group and Regal theatres are strong, standing on solid ground and our continued goal is to be The Best Place to Watch a Movie!”
Over the past week, independent cinemas across the United States–and cinema chains in Europe and Asia–have shut their doors due to Coronavirus. As of this writing, Regal is the first of the top 25 theater chains located in the U.S. to announce a full closure; 21 of the top 25 chains have gone to reduced seating so as to better enable social distancing between patrons, and theaters in select counties in New Jersey and Pennsylvania (including AMC and Regal) have closed due to government edict.