Jan 20, 2023 - Economy

Regal plans to close 39 movie theaters

Sign says Regal with stars underneath on exterior of movie theater building

Regal Cinemas is set to close 39 theaters in February. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Regal Cinemas plans to close 39 movie theaters across the country in February, a move that could save $22 million annually, parent company Cineworld said in bankruptcy court documents.

Why it matters: The movie theater business has been reeling from the pandemic, which cratered attendance, and is also competing with the explosion of streaming services.

Catch up fast: Cineworld filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September and secured $1.94 billion in bankruptcy loans — known as debtor-in-possession financing — to support its restructuring plan, Axios' Nathan Bomey reports.

The latest: Cineworld said in a court filing this week that it plans to reject 39 leases effective Feb. 15.

  • A judge will now need to approve the list, which is routine for bankruptcy proceedings.

By the numbers: California is losing the most theaters with seven closings and New York has six theaters on the list, which was posted in court documents.

  • Miami, Boston, Seattle and Washington D.C. are each losing a theater.

What they're saying: Cineworld said in documents that has “commenced active negotiations” with many of its landlords.

  • “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,” the company said in the filing.

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