The past year has undeniably had a profound and heartbreaking impact on the world of movie theaters, with the global COVID-19 pandemic putting many restrictions on the traditional moviegoing experience. The effects of the pandemic are expected to continue to be felt for quite some time — and it looks like that's already taking a major toll on one beloved theater chain. On Monday, it was announced that Arclight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres will be shutting down permanently, as a result of the circumstances surrounding the virus. The chains, which are run by the parent company Decurion, currently own over 300 locations, including the famous Cinerama Dome.
“After shutting our doors more than a year ago, today we must share the difficult and sad news that Pacific will not be reopening its ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres locations,” the company said in a statement. “This was not the outcome anyone wanted, but despite a huge effort that exhausted all potential options, the company does not have a viable way forward.”
“To all the Pacific and ArcLight employees who have devoted their professional lives to making our theaters the very best places in the world to see movies: we are grateful for your service and your dedication to our customers,” the company continued. “To our guests and members of the film industry who have made going to the movies such a magical experience over the years: our deepest thanks. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you.”
According to some reports, the chain had initially been planning a reopening tied to Memorial Day weekend, and to the releases of A Quiet Place Part II and Cruella. Reportedly, there are ways for some of the Arclight and Pacific locations to theoretically remain open, depending on what the individual landlords of each property decides to do going forward. The chain's relationship with its individual locations was recently the subject of an IndieWire report, which revealed that Pacific Theaters Exhibition had not paid over $181,000 in March 2021 to rent or its Culver City Arclight location.
This is just the latest theater chain to be significantly hit by the pandemic, with Alamo Drafthouse recently filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and AMC Theatres reporting massive losses over the past year.
What do you think of Arclight Cinemas and Pacific Theaters planning to close its doors permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!