Regal Cinemas is closing its doors once again amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The theater chain, which is the second-biggest in the country, announced on Monday, October 5 that they will be suspending operations.
Cineworld, which is the U.K. parent company of Regal, is shutting down all 536 Regal locations on Thursday, October 8.
After being closed for months, theater chains across the country decided to open up in late August thanks to the arrival of Christoper Nolan’s film, Tenet.
However, because of Tenet’s lackluster performance at the box-office, production companies decided to push back a number of blockbuster movies that were slated to come out later this year.
No Time to Die, Black Widow, and West Side Story — which were all expected to come out in the next couple of months — pushed their release dates to 2021.
With very few major movies still slated to come out this year, Cineworld really had no choice but to shut down again.
Mooky Greidinger, the CEO of Cineworld, said in a press release that the company did everything they could to open up safely, but they can’t stay open without any upcoming movies.
Movie theaters are still not open in New York City, which may be a big reason why production companies don’t feel it’s the right time to release new films.
“Despite our work, positive feedback from our customers and the fact that there has been no evidence to date linking any COVID cases with cinemas, we have not been given a route to reopen in New York, although other indoor activities — like indoor dining, bowling and casinos were already allowed,” Greidinger shared.
“The prolonged closures have had a detrimental impact on the release slate for the rest of the year, and, in turn, our ability to supply our customers with the lineup of blockbusters they’ve come to expect from us.”
He continued, “As such, it is simply impossible to continue operations in our primary markets.”
Due to the closures, more than 40,000 employees will be out of jobs.
AMC Theaters, which is the other largest movie theater chain in the U.S., has yet to make an announcement about closing.
However, one has to wonder if they’ll follow suit, as it’s hard to imagine these theaters being able to make any money this year.
It’s unclear when it’ll be safe for movie theaters to fully re-open, but without any movies to attract customers, it’s going to be a long road ahead.