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Regal Cinemas considers closure of all U.S. theaters

Published: Oct. 4, 2020 at 8:18 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The entertainment industry is still trying to bounce back from COVID-19 losses as movie theaters continue to try to fill more seats, Regal’s parent company Cineworld could close all of its movie theaters in the U.S.

While we are still trying to figure out what that would look like here in Wichita, some movie-goers said they hope the doors can stay open.

Over the last several weeks, movie theaters have reopened after COVID-19 restrictions left locations shutdown for months.

Movie-goer, Kathy Draper said, “There’s a lot less people here than you normally would see so I guess a lot of people haven’t been going to the cinema obviously.”

It’s Kathy and David Draper’s first time back at the theater since the start of the pandemic; they said now it feels like a ghost town.

That’s why Regal’s parent company Cineworld could be closing all of its U.S. locations.

While those could be temporary closures, Cineworld is reporting a loss of $1.6 billion in the first half of 2020.

“I’m sure it would suck. I know I’m glad I got my movie in before they shut it down,” said movie-goer Blair Lowe.

Lowe said there wasn’t much of a selection with many new movies postponing release dates until 2021.

All four Warren locations in Wichita including the Movie Machine in Town West mall are operated by Regal. The Wichita theater managers tell us company policy restricts them from answering any media questions.

We have reached out to corporate and have not received a response. According to the Associated Press, Cineworld is considering a temporary closure of cinemas in both the U.S. and the U.K. but no final decision has been reached.

Draper said, “We usually go all year round but it’s kind of disappointing. You know we had the changes going on with the Warren and switching over to Regal and that really only leaves us one cinema group, a very small cinema group so that’s disappointing.”

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