Lack of blockbuster movies temporarily shuts down theater


Seymour’s Regal movie theater is temporarily closed once again.

Cineworld Group, owner of the Regal Cinemas chain, temporarily suspended operations at all of its American and British movie theaters Oct. 8.

The announcement came Oct. 5 after Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer delayed the release of the new James Bond movie for the second time, pulling the plug on one of the few big films left on the 2020 release calendar.

Without the blockbuster movies, there’s not enough of a draw for movie theater attendance, leading to a major loss of income.

According to the Indiana Business Journal website,, Cineworld closed 536 Regal theaters in the United States and its 127 British locations, including the Picturehouse brand, affecting about 45,000 employees.

The announcement reverses Cineworld’s reopening after the end of the first surge of COVID-19 cases. Around 561 out of its 778 sites had opened as of Sept. 24.

According to the company’s annual report, it had 30,000 people employed at the end of last year, and for jobs such as cleaning and security, contract workers are used. The company spokesperson declined to comment on the layoffs or how staff will be reemployed.

Regal had announced its theater locations would be closing beginning March 17 as a precaution during the pandemic.

The reopening of Seymour’s movie theater was originally set for July 31 but got pushed back to Aug. 28, manager Nicole Maki said.

Now, it’s closed, and Maki has been furloughed along with the rest of the movie theater employees.

Natasha Brilliant, an analyst at Citigroup Inc., said it is almost certain that Cineworld, the world’s second-biggest cinema chain, will have to raise additional funds.

In a note to clients, Brilliant wrote that with a prolonged period of closure, the group would need additional funding from January 2021 when the current revolving credit facility ends.

She said the amount raised could be as much as $500 million, and the concern is that this may be financed at a significant cost.

Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger told CNBC, “We are now like a kind of a grocery shop that have no food to sell.”

In the statement, Greidinger said Cineworld’s decision to close was very difficult, and they will aim to reopen when key markets have more concrete guidance on their reopening status and when studios are able to bring their major releases back to the big screen.

It might be a few months, but at the end of the day, they must have a clear lineup of movies before they reopen, he added.

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