For Cineworld, the Britain-based owner of Regal Cinemas that employs 45,000 people, James Bond proved to be the final straw.
MGM/Universal, which is producing the latest Bond film, “No Time to Die,” announced Oct. 2 that its theatrical release was being pushed from Nov. 20 of this year to April 2, 2021. With a lack of new blockbusters to showcase now and in the immediate future, Cineworld announced Oct. 5 that it was closing all 543 of its U.S. Regal Cinema locations, including the theaters at Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted and Crocker Park in Westlake.
There are 17 Regal locations across Ohio, all of which closed indefinitely Thursday. It’s unknown when they might reopen.
In a statement, Cineworld cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the key factor in its theater closures, as studios have been hesitant to release new films during a pandemic. Venues in Ohio were given the green light to reopen in June.
“This is not a decision we made lightly, and we did everything in our power to support safe and sustainable reopenings in all of our markets – including meeting, and often exceeding, local health and safety guidelines in our theaters and working constructively with regulators and industry bodies to restore public confidence in our industry,” Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger said in an Oct. 5 statement.
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