AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas are shuttering all of their locations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
The two largest movie theater chains in North America made separate announcements on Tuesday, March 17. AMC said they would close all 1,000 of its theaters for at least six to 12 weeks, and Regal will close its 542 locations until further notice.
The decision to close locations comes amid new recommendations from President Donald Trump that Americans should avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.
“We are ever so disappointed for our moviegoing guests and for our employee teams that the new CDC guidelines that Americans should not gather in groups larger than 10 people make it impossible to open our theaters. Still, the health and well-being of AMC guests and employees, and of all Americans, takes precedence above all else,” said AMC CEO and President, Adam Aron, in the company’s official announcement.
“We will continue to monitor this situation very closely and look forward to the day we can again delight moviegoers nationwide by reopening AMC movie theaters in accordance with guidance from the CDC and local health authorities.”
Digital Trends reached out to both AMC and Regal to find out if movie theater workers will still get paid while the theaters are closed. We also reached out to Cinemark, the third-largest movie theater chain in North America, to find out if it plans to close its locations as well. We will update this story when we hear back.
Like most other industries right now, the movie industry has taken a big hit because of the coronavirus outbreak. Global box office receipts could take a $20 billion hits because of COVID-19, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Not only is movie theater attendance slowing down, but the production of future blockbusters is also screeching to a halt. Big-name movies such as No Time to Die, A Quiet Place Part II, Fast & Furious 9, and more have delayed their production or release.
On Monday, Universal Pictures announced it would release some of its current movies to Xfinity On Demand to provide a way for people to watch new films including The Invisible Man or The Hunt in the safety of their homes.
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