Cineworld, parent company of Regal, announced Monday that it will be temporarily suspending operations at all of its 536 Regal theaters in the United States, effective Thursday.
Cineworld said in a news release that the closure was in response “to an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape and sustained key market closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“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,” said Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld, in the release. “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.”
Oahu has four Regal movie theaters located at Pearl Highlands, Dole Cannery, Windward Mall and Kapolei Commons. Online, all four theaters were listed as temporarily closed due to local restrictions.
On Maui, Regal has a theater at Maui Mall. On Hawaii island, Regal has theaters at Keauhou, Makalapua and Prince Kuhio Plaza.
Phone recordings for the Oahu theaters did not provide any updated information on the upcoming closures on Thursday. Property managers of some of the theaters did not return calls for comment.
Under the current order issued by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, movie theaters on Oahu are allowed to reopen at 50% capacity as long as groups are separated by 6 feet or more, and every person wears a face covering at all times. No food or drinks may be consumed in the theater.
Cineworld said that as major U.S. markets, mainly New York, remained closed, without guidance on when they would reopen, studios have been reluctant to release their pipeline of new films — including the new James Bond film, “No Time to Die,” which was postponed to 2021.
Without these new releases, Cineworld said it cannot provide customers in its primary markets with “the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theaters against the backdrop of COVID-19.”
The closures will impact approximately 40,000 employees across the U.S.
Regal, which operates 536 theaters in 42 U.S. states along with the District of Columbia and Guam, said it would continue to monitor the situation closely, and communicate any future plans to resume operations at the appropriate time.