Cineworld, the second-largest chain of theaters in the United States will close all its Regal Cinema theaters next week according to a report in The Sunday Times in the UK (where Cineworld is headquartered).
The theater on W42nd Street will be one of Regal’s 543 theaters in the country to be shuttered. They have over seven thousand screens in the United States and are the biggest movie theater company in Britain and Ireland where their theaters will also close.
Reports say that James Bond is the reason. On Saturday, “No Time to Die” (Bond’s 25th movie) was pushed back to April 2021 due to the pandemic. Theaters were betting on the Bond blockbuster to boost poor attendance.
Cineworld reported a loss of $1.64 billion in the first half of 2020. Over the road, AMC, the largest US theater chain, has had even more dire results due to the pandemic.
The fall-winter season still has “Soul”, “Dune” and “Wonder Woman 1984” scheduled, but these might face the same push back as Bond with this number of theaters closing suddenly.
The loss of the Regal venue is another blow for the area. We reported in mid-August on the closure of Landmark Theaters on W57th Street. In June, McDonald’s closed its flagship store on this stretch of W42nd Street.
UPDATED: Cineworld said on Sunday: “We are considering the temporary closure of our U.K. and U.S. cinemas, but a final decision has not yet been reached. Once a decision has been made we will update all staff and customers as soon as we can.”