The future of movie theaters remains up in the air, but this news is not terribly encouraging: According to Variety, Cineworld, the company that owns Regal cinemas, is shuttering all 543 of its locations in the U.S. and in the U.K. The news comes the day after No Time to Die, the next Bond film, was pushed back from November to next year.
Cineworld, who purchased Regal back in 2017, has struggled over the last six months, having to contend with shutdowns, dwindling audiences, and lack of new product to exhibit. Even after theaters reopened in parts of the country — minus Los Angeles and New York City, two of its biggest markets — theaters have struggled to stay afloat. The closures, which come happen as early as next week, puts an estimated 55,000 jobs at risk, and that’s only in the U.K.
The news also comes a few days after dozens of filmmakers, among them Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan, signed a letter addressed to Congress, asking that they consider bailing out the industry, fearing that things will get worse. And now they have. Regal Cinemas is the second largest movie theater chain in the U.S., after AMC, who are also in jeopardy.
Update: Cineworld later qualified the original report, saying that a “final decision has not yet been made.”
We can confirm we are considering the temporary closure of our U.K. and US cinemas, but a final decision has not yet been reached. Once a decision has been made we will update all staff and customers as soon as we can.
— Cineworld Cinemas (@cineworld) October 4, 2020