Second Largest Movie Chain Is Likely Closing All the Doors

Mish

Regal Cinema is struggling. It's weighing options.

Indefinite Closure of 500+ Theaters

The Wall Street Journal reports Regal Cinemas Likely Suspending Operations at All U.S. Locations

The second-largest cinema chain in America is likely to close indefinitely all its U.S. locations, after reopening in August, according to a person familiar with the plans, escalating the pandemic-driven crisis faced by the entertainment industry.

Cineworld Group PLC’s Regal Entertainment Group’s potential decision to suspend operations at its more than 500 locations follows a cascade of postponements for big-budget Hollywood films, most recently the coming James Bond title “No Time to Die.” The studio behind the film, MGM Holdings Inc., on Friday said it was delaying the film for the second time, to next April, from this November. It had originally been scheduled for release in April of this year.

Bankruptcies Coming

“If the status quo continues, 69% of small and midsize movie theater companies will be forced to file for bankruptcy or to close permanently,” the National Association of Theatre Owners said in a written statement.

Restaurants, bowling alleys, and churches are open, but California and New York will not let cinemas open.

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Churches, where everyone is singing or saying prayers out loud rate to be worse than cinemas where talking is prohibited.

Mish

Comments (36)
No. 1-19
Sechel
Sechel

I read this

Zardoz
Zardoz

"cinemas where talking is prohibited."

If only...

Sechel
Sechel

Gave up going to the movies well over a decade ago. Paying to watch commercials, previews and struggling for arm wrest control or being able to see over the guy in front of you seemed like a loser. Covid-19 is just a catalyst for the inevitable. Hollywood is dead too. The best talent is now on Amazon and Netflix as well as showtime. Once home TV 's passes 42 inches and got hung on the wall it was over for theater chains

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

Bring back drive-ins!

Carl_R
Carl_R

I think they are open here, but would you go? We had record cases day before yesterday, and just missed the record for deaths by a couple.

numike
numike

GOOD! Movie theaters are stinky dirty places...last movie I saw a woman was changing her babies diapers on the adjacent seat!

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

Alamo Drafthouse type places with food and drinks will probably weather the storm better than the big chains, which have gotten so big (so many screens in one location)....those rents have to be astronomical.

There is still something about a big screen experience that makes movies better....but the industry might have to further re-invent itself after COVID.

I think I've been to one movie since the lockdown (Tesla) ....but I wasn't keeping the industry in business anyway......I lean toward documentaries and art house fare. Spare me the Marvel superheroes.

Mr. Purple
Mr. Purple

"Where talking is prohibited."

Discouraged, more like it.

Herkie
Herkie

Well eventually smaller more local companies will buy them up and run some first run movies but a lot of festivals and boutique art films and such, with popcorn that does not require a mortgage, which is by the way the #1 reason I quite going to movies. I just found it impossible to get past the concession stand with that popcorn smell and not buy some, but at $6.50 for their smallest bag I just started waiting till the films came out on video. With a few exceptions that were made and needed to be seen on the big screen. But we had such a movie house in Ashland Oregon. Sure they would cash in on the occassional blockbusters, but a lot of the time they were showing the films from Sundance and bringing back older movies, or obscure stuff.

By the way, I do believe that concession stand pricing is responsible for most of the audience loss.

PT109
PT109

Thanks to the lockdown America will lose much ...much more. This country will be a basket case if you give all the firepower to a virus lockdown only. How about considering all businesses stay open even in the lockdown so as not to totally decimate America's economy. We should be looking at both options controlling the virus and mitigating the damage thats been done to the economy and both can be accomplished with logical planning. The blockhead politicians that just want to concentrate on the virus lockdown are the ones who will be responsible for America's economic demise

Maximus_Minimus
Maximus_Minimus

They will reopen as a retro chain, where:

  • ban smelly popcorn that permeates the whole premises.
  • stop showing half an our of adverts prior to the actual movie, accompanied by boom effects.
  • show vintage movies from the golden age of cinema rather than the vacuous drivel that goes for movies today.
  • lower the price of tickets to that of a lager in the next door bar.
Corvinus
Corvinus

So is it responsible to allow people to congregate in closed quarters or not? Are we worried about the economic impact or not? Given Mish's rather constant criticism of all things Trump I'm finding it difficult to tease exactly what he expects or wants...other than anyone but Trump to be elected in November. Isn't Trumps spiel to let people get back to work and normal activity? I'm not being sarcastic I'm just genuinely curious.

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

Just sped up the inevitable collapse due to loudmouths and cellphone texting imbeciles in audience.

Realist
Realist

In a system that promotes free enterprise and capitalism, creative destruction is a given. Businesses come and go as change happens. That is reality.

Because of the pandemic, many things are changing. Many businesses will not survive. Theatre chains are certainly one of the likely casualties. I imagine that after going under, some of them will reappear in the future, once conditions are more amenable for theatre patrons. I do not expect most governments to provide much support to theatres, as they are far removed from being a necessity.

Mish
Mish

Editor

Say Goodbye to SnowDog and over 1,000 comments in one fell swoop.

KidHorn
KidHorn

My prediction is the theaters will file for bankruptcy. Expunge their debts. Get better lease agreements. Raise money from investors after COVID has passed. And emerge stronger than ever.

RunnrDan
RunnrDan

Agreed, but you forgot a couple of steps:

  1. File for bankruptcy after lobbyist do their work
  2. Tipped-off debtors sell debt to Fed proxy
  3. Debt is expunged
  4. Fed buys debt from proxy where it sits on Fed balance sheet for perpetuity.
  5. Repeat above scenario for the connected landowner/lessors...
bradw2k
bradw2k

Even without pandemic, doesn't "everyone" have a big screen TV and a streaming service these days? And compared to series, most features feel pretty small. Theaters had to be hurting already.

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

I don't have time to watch movies at all. I work to pay for other's welfare checks that buy streaming movies and i-phones.