Regal Cinemas is temporarily closing all of its U.S. and U.K. theaters as movie studios continue to delay new releases because of the global coronavirus pandemic. The news comes after Universal and MGM announced the latest "James Bond" film, No Time to Die, will be delayed until spring 2021.
Regal, which is owned by British film-chain Cineworld, is the second-largest cinema chain in the United States and operates 536 theaters across the country. The move will impact roughly 45,000 employees.
The company said that moviegoers are reluctant to go to the movies, and without big blockbuster films, it cannot provide fans with "the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theaters against the backdrop of COVID-19."
"We are like a grocery shop that doesn't have vegetables, fruit, meat," Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger said, according to the Wall Street Journal. "We cannot operate for a long time without a product."
Cineworld said they are working with health officials to determine when it is safe to open theaters again.
"Cineworld will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations in these markets at the appropriate time, when key markets have more concrete guidance on their reopening status and, in turn, studios are able to bring their pipeline of major releases back to the big screen," Greidinger said in a statement.
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