SAN ANTONIO – The company that owns Regal cinemas has announced it will temporarily close 536 cinemas across the U.S. — six of those being in the San Antonio area — on Thursday.
Cineworld will close the Regal theaters, as well as 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse venues in the U.K., due to the lack of blockbusters to attract customers during the pandemic. Some 45,000 employees are affected in total.
“In response to an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape and sustained key market closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cineworld confirms that it will be temporarily suspending operations at all of its 536 Regal theatres in the U.S. and its 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theaters in the U.K. from Thursday, 8 October 2020.”
The company says that with major markets such as New York closed and no guidance on when they will reopen, “studios have been reluctant to release their pipeline of new films.”
Without these releases, the company can’t give customers “the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theaters against the backdrop of COVID-19.’’
The premiere of the 25th James Bond thriller, “No Time to Die,” which was due to open in November, will be pushed back to April due to the pandemic, producers announced last week.
The same decision has been made by other major studios, including Disney that has postponed Marvel’s “Black Widow” and Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story.”
Regal has six locations in San Antonio: Regal Alamo Quarry, Regal Cielo Vista near Ingram Road, Regal Huebner Oaks & RPX, Regal Fiesta on Vance Jackson, Regal Northwoods on Henderson Pass, and Regal Live Oak.
According to its website, only the Fiesta location remains closed, while the others show $5 flicks and a few newer movies, like “The Broken Hearts Gallery,” “Infidel” and “Tenet.”
Despite the slow reopenings of movie theaters across the country, cinemas have yet to see a resurgence of moviegoers, and the biggest movies struggled in the box office.
Gov. Greg Abbott allowed movie theaters to reopen at 25% capacity in May.