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All Regal Cinemas in the U.S. could close this week due to James Bond film delay

San Diego Union Tribune logo San Diego Union Tribune 10/4/2020 City News Service
a store inside of a building: A Regal Cinemas movie theater has a temporary closure notice on its marquee in New York on May 5. The company that owns Regal Cinemas said it may be forced to close all of the theaters due to losses related to the pandemic. (Associated Press) © Provided by San Diego Union Tribune A Regal Cinemas movie theater has a temporary closure notice on its marquee in New York on May 5. The company that owns Regal Cinemas said it may be forced to close all of the theaters due to losses related to the pandemic. (Associated Press)

Cineworld, the British entertainment company that owns Regal Cinemas, announced Sunday that it might reclose all of its 543 movie theaters in the U.S. as early as this week, due to continued losses from the coronavirus pandemic.

On its Twitter account Sunday morning, Cineworld reported: "``We can confirm we are considering the temporary closure of our U.K. and US cinemas, but a final decision has not yet been reached. Once a decision has been made we will update all staff and customers as soon as we can."

A report in Variety on Saturday, which cited an unidentified source, said the company would be closing its theaters in the United States and the United Kingdom as early as this week.

Variety's report came one day after it was announced that the release of the latest James Bond film, ``No Time to Die,'' would be postponed until April 2021. Large chains such as Regal count on blockbusters depend on films like the Bond series to sustain operations.

Regal is the second-largest theater chain in the United States after AMC. Regal has eight locations in San Diego County, including theaters in Carlsbad, San Marcos, Escondido, Mira Mesa, La Jolla, El Cajon, Rancho San Diego and Chula Vista.

Indoor movie theaters are currently permitted at reduced capacity in the county, and with other protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In San Diego County, cinema auditorium are limited to 25 percent of capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower.

But even with reduced capacity, many movie theater companies have said attendance has remained stubbornly low.

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