OK, not to keep beating this extremely deceased horse, but it keeps coming up: Variety reports that, in response to the No Time to Die delay that puts the last possible big theatrical release of 2020 back in 2021, Cinemaworld, the company behind Regal Cinema, is considering the possibility of closing all its theatres again, possibly for the rest of the year.
As Variety tells it, the company, which owns 570 Regal Cinema locations in the United States and 99 locations in the United Kingdom, is strongly considering closing 543 of its US locations and all of its UK and Ireland locations. Variety’s sources indicate that the company is planning on contacting the UK government to inform them that, with no tentpole movies coming out in the foreseeable future, the theatre business is unviable and the locations can’t stay open. This decision was, reportedly, made without notifying any employees of the theatres, which include 5,500 people in the United Kingdom alone.
In a statement via Twitter, Cineworld confirmed that the possibility is being considered, though a final decision hasn’t been made. If it does happen, it’ll probably put an end, at least for now, to the biology experiment that has been trying to run cinemas during the coronavirus pandemic.
We can confirm we are considering the temporary closure of our U.K. and US 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.
— Cineworld Cinemas (@cineworld) October 4, 2020
As for when we’ll see theatres open again, No Time to Die is currently slated for April 2021. And who knows if it’ll be safe to see movies again by then. Wonder Woman 1984 is still set for December but Dune has recently been delayed by 10 months. It doesn’t bode well.