Regal Cinemas announced today in a press release that it will be temporarily closing all 536 of its U.S. theaters, beginning this Thursday, October 8.
There are currently four Regal Cinemas locations in Connecticut — in Waterford, Stonington, Waterbury and Branford.
Cineworld, Regal’s parent company, attributes the closing to the fact that certain key areas — particularly New York — have not allowed movie theaters to reopen.
The statement said that the reluctance of certain areas to reopen theaters have caused film studios to postpone releasing new films. Last Friday, producers of the James Bond film “No Time to Die” announced in a post on the James Bond website that the film’s release date would be pushed from November 2020 to April 2021.
Other postponed films include “Wonder Woman 1984”, now premiering on December 25, 2020 and Marvel’s “Black Widow,” now scheduled to open on May 7, 2021.
“Without these new releases, Cineworld cannot provide customers in both the U.S. and U.K. – the company’s primary markets – with the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theaters against the backdrop of COVID-19,” the statement reads.
The statement said the closings will affect about 40,000 jobs across the country.
Under current guidelines, Connecticut theaters are allowed to be open at 50 percent capacity with social distancing, increased ventilation and partitions at ticket and food counters.
Tony Sheridan, president of the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, said that while the movie theaters in eastern Connecticut aren’t big employers, having any businesses close down is a bad message to send to people.
“We’re working our tails off trying to keep the economy going,” he said. “[There’s a] negative psychological effect of anything closing right now.”
The company has not said when it will allow its theaters to reopen.