According to legal documents obtained by Variety, Regal Cinemas, the second-largest chain of movie theaters in the United States, will close 39 locations as a result of the bankruptcy filing made by Cineworld, the chain’s parent company, in September.
The closures of the theaters, which are primarily located in the states of Florida, California, and Texas, come as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to strike the cinema industry, and the number of people who go to the movies remains low. Although the pandemic has led to a significant drop in the number of people going to the movies and has resulted in Regal Cinemas filing for bankruptcy and shutting its doors, other aspects of the film industry have continued to experience growth and success.
Starting on February 15, Cineworld will begin rejecting the leases. New bankruptcy filings show that even as domestic box office took a major hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, rents for theaters rose by nearly 30% per month between 2019 and 2022. Since the pandemic began, Cineworld’s revenue has significantly decreased. As a result of rising rents, the business has decided to reject its leases and declare bankruptcy.
Around 500 of Cineworld’s 747 theaters, totaling 9,139 screens across 10 nations, are located in the United States. The 2022 domestic box office peaked at $7.5 billion, a roughly 30% drop from the $11.4 billion in 2019 prior to COVID, indicating a significant decline in the number of people going to the movies in theaters during the pandemic.
As many theaters remained closed, the company suffered a $3 billion loss in 2020 and a $708.3 million loss before taxes in 2021. Absent lease liabilities, the total debt was $4.84 billion. As a result, the pandemic has negatively impacted Cineworld’s financial performance. It is unclear how Cineworld will handle its losses in the near future given the bleak outlook for attending theatrical films.
The 39 locations that will be closed are listed below, according to Business Insider, which broke the news.
- Tikahtnu Stadium 16 Imax and RPX (Anchorage, AK)
- Berkeley 7 (Berkeley, CA)
- Metro Point (Costa Mesa, CA)
- Parkway Plaza Stadium 18 and Imax (El Cajon, CA)
- Escondido Stadium 16 and Imax (Escondido, CA)
- Sherman Oaks Galleria 16 (Los Angeles, CA)
- Hemet Cinema 12 (Hemet, CA)
- Yorda Linda and Imax (Yorba Linda, CA)
- Meadows Stadium 12 (Littleton, CO)
- SouthGlenn Stadium 14 (Centennial, CO)
- South Beach Stadium 18 and Imax (Miami, FL)
- Shadowood 16 (Boba Raton, FL)
- Keauhou Stadium 7 (Kailua-Kona, HI)
- Bolingbrook Stadium 12 (Bolingbrook, IL)
- Gallery Place Stadium 14 (Washington, DC)
- Round Lake Beach Stadium 18 (Round Lake Beach, IL)
- Rockville Center Stadium 13 (Rockville, MD)
- Union Square Stadium 14 (New York, NY)
- Fenway Stadium 13 and RPX (Boston, MA)
- Bowie Stadium 14 (Bowie, MD)
- Brunswick 10 (Brunswick, ME)
- Beaver Creek Stadium 12 (Apex, NC)
- Omaha Stadium 16 (Omaha, NE)
- Concord 10 (Concord, NH)
- Hamilton Commons Stadium 14 (Landing, NJ)
- Pohatcong Stadium 12 (Phillipsburg, NJ)
- Santa Fe Stadium 14 (Santa Fe, NM)
- Village Square Stadium 18 (Las Vegas, NV)
- Elmwood Center 16 (Buffalo, NY)
- Oaks Stadium 24 (Oaks, PA)
- Ithaca Mall Stadium 14 (Ithaca, NY)
- Cortlandt Town Center (Mohegan Lake, NY)
- Greece Ridge Stadium 12 (Rochester, NY)
- Meridian 16 (Seattle, WA)
- Transit Center Stadium 18 and Imax (Williamsville, NY)
- Montrose Movies Stadium 12 (Akron, OH)
- Barn Plaza Stadium 14 (Doylestown, PA)
- Greenbrier Stadium 13 (Chesapeake, VA)
- Stonefield Stadium 14 and Imax (Charlottesville, VA)