Movies & TV / News

Regal & Cineworld Theaters Suspending Business, AMC & Cinemark to Stay Open

October 6, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Movie Theaters AMC Regal

The delay of No Time to Die has caused one of the theater majors to temporarily shut down their US and UK chains in Cineworld and Regal. Deadline reports that Cineworld has confirmed that their namesake theater chains in the UK and Regal Theaters in the US will be closed down for the time being after MGM decided to delay the 007 film until Easter weekend 2021.

Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger said in a statement, “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.”

Greidinger added in a follow-up interview with Deadline that they were putting no fault on studios for their decisions to delay films, saying that the big factor was that they “don’t see movement in New York” in terms of when cinemas might be allowed to reopen. Greidinger added:

“There is no rationale [from the government]. We received messages like “cinema is not essential” and we fail to understand why other indoor activities are essential, but cinema excluded. Other than that, we never received a real explanation as to why New York, which had great success in the war against COVID in general, does not allow us to come back like it’s been done all over the world. Cinemas have been open all over the world and in the U.S. for over two months now and there have been no COVID cases up to now, thankfully. The safety precautions in cinemas are very good and they are very effective. We have a lot of busy shows in Central Europe with the local product, but there is no doubt after what happened with Tenet, the studios will not release movies without New York.”

He added that Cineworld “[doesn’t] have any plans to close anything permanently,” nor any plans to sell or close locations. Asked whether they would reopen if Wonder Woman 1984 kept its Christmas date, he said, “For sure, but we need to have a clear lineup of movies after that. It cannot be one movie only. It needs to be a situation that the studios are saying, “It is safe enough to go back and this is our release schedule.” The COVID situation needs to stabilize and we need to have a clear schedule of movies ahead.”

While Cineworld is closing, AMC and Cinemark will remain open. AMC said in a statement (per Deadline), “Fortunately for AMC, our groundbreaking agreement with Universal Studios announced earlier this summer puts AMC in a position where we can open our theatres when others may feel the need to close. We are fully comfortable showing Universal films in our theaters, even as they implement premium video on demand as we have mutually agreed. This is because AMC will share in premium revenues coming from their early availability in the home.”

Meanwhile, Cinemark said, “Cinemark’s reopening plan was designed with multiple contingencies in place to ensure we are able to be nimble and react as needed to this ever-changing environment. We do not currently have plans to close our U.S. theatres and are continuing to align with demand, including reducing operating hours and days while we await new studio content to encourage theatrical moviegoing.”