After six months of closed theaters and an operating loss $2 billion, Regal Cinemas will be re-opening some 500 theaters beginning this month. Attendance will be capped at between 25% and 50% of capacity, depending upon location.
The next largest chain in America after AMC, Regal operates 7,211 locations in 42 states. After the outbreak of the pandemic, Warner Bros. announced it would release all its 2021 films simultaneously in theaters and on HBO. Regal’s owner, Cineworld, made an agreement to abide by Warner’s earlier pledge and will therefore be opening theaters and showing Warner Bros. pictures.
Cineworld announced that it had secured new liquidity in the form of a $213 million convertible bond and that it expected a $200 million US Cares Act tax refund. Also expected is strong pent-up demand for affordable out-of-home entertainment.
“I never imagined a time that we would see the closure of our entire cinema estate,” said Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger. “I am immensely proud and inspired by the response of our people to these very difficult circumstances.”