Cineworld, the British-based parent company of Regal Cinemas, announced on Monday it will be temporarily suspending operations at all of its 536 Regal theaters in the U.S., including 11 in New Jersey, as a result of capacity limits and business closures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is not a decision we made lightly, and we did everything in our power to support a safe and sustainable reopening in the U.S.– from putting in place robust health and safety measures at our theaters to joining our industry in making a collective commitment to the CinemaSafe protocols to reaching out to state and local officials to educate them on these initiatives. We are especially grateful for and proud of the hard work our employees put in to adapt our theaters to the new protocols and cannot underscore enough how difficult this decision was,” said Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld.
The New Jersey theaters are located in Burlington, Turnersville, South Plainfield, Hamilton Township, Moorestown, Sewell, North Brunswick, Vineland, Mays Landing, Manahawkin and Phillipsburg.
Cineworld said the slow release of new major films was also part of its reason to close.
“Despite our work, positive feedback from our customers and the fact that there has been no evidence to date linking any COVID cases with cinemas, we have not been given a route to reopen in New York, although other indoor activities — like indoor dining, bowling and casinos were already allowed. The prolonged closures have had a detrimental impact on the release slate for the rest of the year, and, in turn, our ability to supply our customers with the lineup of blockbusters they’ve come to expect from us. As such, it is simply impossible to continue operations in our primary markets,” Greidinger said.
The temporary suspension, which will impact approximately 40,000 employees across the U.S., will commence on Oct. 8.