Cineworld Group, who own the Regal Cinemas movie theater chain, announced they will be temporarily shutting down all theaters in the US and UK beginning Thursday, October 8, affecting 45,000 employees. In a statement, Cineworld said it could not provide customers "with the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theaters against the backdrop of Covid-19."
This news comes just a couple days after the announcement that new James Bond film No Time to Die, which had already been rescheduled from April of this year to November, was moving its release date to April of 2021. Most of the major films originally slated for a 2020 release -- including Black Widow, Ghostbusters Afterlife, and Steven Spielberg's remake of West Side Story -- have moved to 2021.
"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," CEO Mooky Greidinger said in the statement.
Regal is the second biggest cinema chain in the US after AMC, with 536 theaters; Cineworld owns 127 theaters in the UK.
Movie theaters have yet to reopen in NYC or Los Angeles, two of the biggest markets in the U.S., though there are a few drive-in options. New Jersey recently allowed theaters (and music venues) to reopen.