In another blow to the box office, Regal Cinemas is reportedly shuttering all 543 screens in the United States as a direct response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In a new report from THR, insiders suggest the closure is indefinite and there's no date when the chain could reopen its doors to the public. Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump announced a recommendation that Americans should avoid gatherings of over 10 people for the immediate future and shortly thereafter, Regal announced its closure.
"Any time, at any Regal, it's our goal to provide a safe and healthy environment for our employees and guests," Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger tells THR in a statement.
He adds, "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."
Last week, AMC Theaters — the country's biggest theater chain — announced drastic measures to try reducing the spread of the pandemic. At the time, the chain said it would cut theater audiences in half and put extra sanitization methods into place.
"AMC is proactively taking action to cut in half the number of tickets that we will make available at all our U.S. theatres," CEO Adam Aron shared at the time. "With this action, we are facilitating the 'social distance' between guests who still want to see movies on a big screen." AMC also revealed they will be using "enhanced" cleaning measures on "high-touch point areas, including kiosks, countertops, restroom areas, glass, handrails, and doorknobs." Thie new protocol is expected to go into effect on all 11,000 screens in the country from March 14th until April 30th.
According to the THR report, industry insiders expect other chains to follow suit.