Oct. 5, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Regal will temporarily cease all U.S. and U.K. operations beginning Thursday as movie theaters in New York remain closed amid the ongoing pandemic.
Cineworld, the parent company of Regal, announced the suspension today, which will impact 40,000 employees across the U.S.
“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.,” said Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld.
The company cited the closed New York market — a key market for the movie industry — as a major driver of the decision.
There are multiple Regal theaters in Queens, including the Regal UA Midway in Forest Hills, Regal Atlas Park in Glendale and the Regal UA Kaufman Astoria in Long Island City.
“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 said.
Cineworld said that studios have been reluctant to release new films without the New York theaters open. In turn, Regal lacks a line-up of strong commercial films to entice customers across the country to return to theaters amid the threat of COVID-19.
“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,” the CEO said. “As such, it is simply impossible to continue operations in our primary markets.”
If the shut down saves just one life, amirite?