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Regal, Cineworld theaters to shut down across U.S., UK

Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous, Brian Sozzi, and discuss the closure of Regal and Cineworld theaters.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: COVID-19 continues to take a toll on the movie theater industry. Cineworld Group-- that's the owner of Regal Cinemas-- announced it will shut down all of its theaters across the US and the UK. It's a move that will impact 45,000 workers. Yahoo Finance's Emily McCormick is here with the details. So, Emily, what is the company saying about how they came to this decision?

EMILY MCCORMICK: Well, Alexis, as we know, over the past several months during the COVID-19 pandemic, the movie theater industry as well as the production industry have both been under a tremendous amount of pressure because of lockdowns and stay-in-place orders. Now, Cineworld, as you mentioned the parent company of Regal Cinemas and the world's second-largest movie theater business after AMC, did announce today that the company plans to temporarily suspend operations across its 536 Regal theaters in the US as well as 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theaters in the UK starting this coming Thursday.

Now the company had closed locations for several months while coronavirus stay-in-place orders were in effect earlier this spring, but they had started reopening them again in July with new safety protocols. Now just taking a look at what that impact of the closures has had on the company, the company did report a loss of $1.6 billion in the first six months of 2020 in financial results released late last month. Now they're going back into those re-closures.

Now the company saying in a statement this morning, quote, "As major US markets, mainly in New York, remained closed and without guidance on reopening timing, studios have been reluctant to release their pipeline of new films. In turn, without these new releases, Cineworld cannot provide customers in both the US and the UK, the company's primary markets, with a breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theaters against the backdrop of COVID-19." Now the announcement also adding to that wave of corporate layoffs we've had over the past couple of weeks now. Cineworld saying that these theater closures will impact about 45,000 employees, Brian and Alexis.

BRIAN SOZZI: Emily, any sense on when these theaters might reopen? EMILY MCCORMICK: None given just yet here. We did have CEO Mooky Greidinger saying in a statement this morning that the company will, quote, "continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations in these markets at the appropriate time." He added also that this was not a decision that the company made lightly, but again no guidance here on exactly when this timing is going to occur for those reopenings, Brian and Alexis.