On Monday afternoon, the Regal Cinemas chain announced it would close all of its movie theaters in the United States indefinitely according to The Hollywood Reporter.
This comes after the White House press conference that called for people to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people. This is part of the nation-wide campaign to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Regal, which is owned by Cineworld, is the first U.S. cinema chain to announce the closure of all its theaters. Other chains like AMC and Cinemark will probably follow suit shortly. Much of Europe and parts of Asia have already closed their cinemas to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 70,000 theaters in China have been closed since the Chinese New Year. On Monday, the AMC chain declared a policy of limiting people to less than 50 in its theaters. Don't be surprised if they change it up and close the theaters altogether this week.
"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 said. "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."
The theaters are expected to close on Tuesday morning March 17th. Regal will update the status of all its theaters on its mobile app and online.
We'll Say It Again: Stay Home!
This is the time to stay home. Virtually every major movie release has been postponed indefinitely already. What is there to go out and see? Universal has already agreed to release its current theatrical releases on VOD this weekend. If you were gagging to see The Invisible Man, The Hunt, Emma or Trolls World Tour this weekend from the comfort of your home, now's your chance.