Regal is preparing to close 39 more U.S. theaters, including four in Southern California and seven in the Bay Area, after parent company Cineworld announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September.
The latest list comes on the heels of dozens of other theaters that have already been shuttered, including Anaheim Hills 14, Calabasas Stadium 6 and the Westpark 8 theater in Irvine.
The newest announced Southern California closures:
Metro Point Costa Mesa
Hemet Cinema 12, Hemet
Sherman Oaks Galleria 16, Los Angeles
Yorda Linda and Imax theater, Yorba Linda
Additional theaters are set to close in Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Washington, D.C.
Parent company Cineworld announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September. (Photo courtesy of Cineworld Group)
Cineworld detailed the plan to reject the 39 leases starting February 15 in a new bankruptcy filing on Tuesday. Regal is the second-largest cinema chain in the US, behind AMC, with more than 500 theaters.
Cineworld said the lease rejections will help the company save about $22 million a year while it continues to work with landlords to keep other theaters in operation.
“The debtors are hopeful that these negotiations will lead to lease concessions and modifications that will obviate the need for rejection and enable additional theater sites to remain open,” Cineworld said in its court filing.
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Cineworld’s bankruptcy filing came as the theatrical industry was struggling to recover from fallout related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Theater revenues in North America hit reached $7.4 billion in 2022, according to Comscore, down from more than $11 billion in 2019 and 2018.
Movie theaters have faced a host of challenges in recent years from Netflix, big-screen home TVs and the pandemic. The problem has been exacerbated by “a shortage of big movies to show in the months ahead,” according to the New York Times.