Regal Cinemas, the second-largest movie chain in America, will close all of its US movie theaters due to concerns over coronavirus. The closure is currently indefinite, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Regal, which is owned by Cineworld, will shutter all 543 of its theaters nationwide beginning Tuesday, March 17th. The decision comes on the heels of White House guidance that Americans should avoid social gatherings of 10 people or more.
“Any time, at any Regal, it’s our goal to provide a safe and healthy environment for our employees and guests,” said Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger. “At this time, we have made the difficult decision to close our theaters. We value our movie-loving customers and have no doubt we will be serving them again as soon as possible with a full slate of Hollywood blockbusters.”
Update: AMC Theaters, the largest movie chain in the US, is also closing all of its location for at least six to 12 weeks. “We are ever so disappointed for our moviegoing guests and for our employee teams that the new CDC guidelines that Americans should not gather in groups larger than 10 people make it impossible to open our theaters,” said AMC CEO Adam Aron in a statement. “Still, the health and well-being of AMC guests and employees, and of all Americans, takes precedence above all else.”
Other prominent theater chains including Landmark and Alamo Drafthouse are also expected to go dark.
To try to circumvent movie theaters closing, Universal will release The Hunt, The Invisible Man, Emma, and Trolls World Tour on video-on-demand starting this Friday. All told, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic are expected to cause the film industry to lose up to $20 billion dollars. So far, several high-profile actors have tested positive for the virus, including Tom Hanks and Idris Elba.
For a complete list of all the films, TV shows, and other productions impacted by the coronavirus, click here.