In response to an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape and sustained key market closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cineworld on Oct. 5 confirmed that it will be temporarily suspending operations at all of its 536 Regal theatres in the U.S. and its 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theatres in the UK beginning Thursday, October 8.
Locally the closure impacts the Regal UA Theatre at Oxford Valley Mall; the Regal Warrington Crossing; and the Regal Barn Plaza in Doylestown.
As major U.S.. markets, mainly New York, remained closed and without guidance on reopening timing, studios have been reluctant to release their pipeline of new films. In turn, without these new releases, Cineworld said it cannot provide customers in both the U.S. and the United Kingdom - 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.
The closures will impact approximately 45,000 employees.
Cineworld said it 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.
Cineworld's main priorities remain the safety of customers and employees, cash preservation and cost reduction. As noted in its Interim Results announced on September 24, Cineworld is assessing several sources of additional liquidity and all liquidity raising options are being considered.
Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld, commented: "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."