Cineworld plans to close theaters for the rest of the year

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Image of a theater being disinfected in China.

Image of a theater being disinfected in China.
Photo: STR (Getty Images)

So the whole go-to-movies-during-a-pandemic something really isn’t working, eh? who could have seen that to come up.

Okay, so as not to keep beating this extremely dead horse, but it’s still going up: Variety reports that in response to the No time to die With delay putting the last possible big theatrical release of 2020 back to 2021, Cinemaworld, the company behind Regal Cinema, is considering the possibility of closing all of its theaters again, possibly for the rest of the year.

As Variety says, the company, which owns 570 Regal Cinema in the US and 99 locations in the UK, is strongly considering shutting down 543 of its US locations and all of its UK and Ireland locations. Variety sources say the company is considering contacting the UK government to let them know that without the release of sprawling films in the foreseeable future, the theater business is not viable and venues cannot remain open. The move was reportedly taken without informing any of the theaters’ employees, which include 5,500 people in the UK alone.

In a statement via Twitter, Cineworld confirmed that this possibility is being considered, although a final decision has not been made. If that happens, it will likely end, at least for now, the biology experiment that tried to run theaters during the coronavirus pandemic.

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As for when we will see the theaters reopen, No time to die is currently scheduled for April 2, 2021. And who knows if it will be safe to see any movies again by then. Wonder Woman 1984 and Dune are both still scheduled for December, but the chances of these being delayed are… pretty high. Especially if Cineworld closes.


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