With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, a lot of movie theater chains are following CDC recommendations and closing for an extended period of time to reduce the possibility of more infections. Some others are sticking to the 50% seating capacity rule. We’ll kick things off with AMC Theatres, the largest chain in the Unites States.
We will update the status of the below theater chains as updates coming in.
AMC Theatres (Closed)
AMC Theatres announced that as of Tuesday, March 17, all AMC locations in the United States will close for at least six to 12 weeks, in compliance with local, state and federal directives, and as a precaution to help ensure the health and safety of moviegoers and theatre staff. AMC said it will continue to monitor the situation closely, and the Company will remain flexible on reopening, in accordance with CDC recommendations and governmental directives.
“The COVID-19 situation has developed rapidly throughout the country over the last week, and during the last 48 hours more than a dozen states and major markets have mandated that movie theatres, bars and restaurants must close,” said the company. “Today, the federal government recommended no public gatherings take place that are larger than 10 people, making movie theatre operations essentially impossible. Throughout the past several weeks, AMC has complied with all CDC guidelines and governmental mandates.”
They added that AMC will automatically pause all A-List memberships for the time that AMC theatres are closed, with no billing or payments occurring. Members will be notified prior to this pause expiring and will have the option to choose to extend the pause for another month if they so desire. Additionally, any A-List member who did not renew their membership any time so far in calendar year 2020 will not have to wait the customary six months to rejoin.
AMC CEO and President Adam Aron said: “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 theatres. Still, the health and wellbeing of AMC guests and employees, and of all Americans, takes precedence above all else. 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 theatres in accordance with guidance from the CDC and local health authorities.”
Regal Cinemas (Closed)
Regal announced the closure of all theatre locations starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020, as a precaution amid the current circumstances. All theatres will remain closed until further notice. “We look forward to serving you again as soon as possible,” the company said.
Cinemark is temporarily closing all 345 of its U.S. theatres effective March 18, 2020 as a proactive measure in support of the health and safety of its employees, guests and communities.
Through these absolutely unprecedented and evolving times, one thing will not change, and that is Cinemark’s dedication to its team members and moviegoers,” said Mark Zoradi, Cinemark CEO. “The decision to close our U.S. theatres was incredibly tough, but we know it is the right thing to do as global Coronavirus concerns continue to escalate. We will closely monitor recommendations of national and local governmental health organizations and look forward to inviting everyone to once again enjoy experiencing the movies with Cinemark.”
Marcus Theatres & Movie Tavern (Closed)
Marcus Theatres is temporarily closing its theatres starting today with the last showtime at 8:30 p.m. This decision is in alignment with the latest direction from the preeminent national health care experts who urged Americans to avoid crowds due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“At Marcus Theatres and Movie Tavern, the safety and well-being of guests and associates remains our top priority,” said Rolando Rodriguez, chairman, president and CEO of Marcus Theatres. “We’ve had many precautions in place that were guided by best practices from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state and local authorities. Now the guidance is clear that temporarily closing is the right thing to do. It’s important that we help our nation’s preventive efforts with this outbreak for the benefit of our guests, associates and the communities in which we do business.”
During this temporary closure, the company will not expire points and rewards earned through its Magical Movie Rewards (MMR) loyalty program. Upon reopening theatres, MMR members will pick up right where they left off. In addition, compensation and benefits support will be provided to many of its 6,500 associates.
“This year our company celebrates its 85th anniversary in the movie theatre business,” added Rodriguez. “When the timing is right, we look forward to welcoming back our guests to enjoy the social experience of moviegoing together – the way movies are meant to be seen.”
Harkins Theatres (Closed)
Harkins Theatres is closing for “the health and well-being of our loyal team and guests.” They say that “while there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Harkins Theatres, today, following the guidance from the CDC, the WHO and the federal government, we have determined that we must temporarily suspend the operation of our movie theatres through March 31st, 2020.
“Harkins will continue to pay all of our team during this time. We will closely monitor the circumstances and make further adjustments as necessary. While this is disappointing news for us, our overriding concern is for those directly impacted by this potentially deadly disease, our communities and the dedicated members of our team.”
B&B Theatres (Reduced Seating)
B&B Theatres, in keeping with CDC recommendations regarding ‘social distancing,’ is taking steps to reduce the total number of guests in auditoriums at any one time and to ensure that additional space is available for guests in lobbies.
Starting March 14, 2020, B&B Theatres locations nationwide will sell no more than 50% of each auditorium’s capacity for any given scheduled showtime. This modification will allow for extra space to be maintained in concession lines and auditoriums, plus reduce any potential guest congestion in restrooms or lounges.
Showcase Cinemas (Closed)
National Amusements, owner of Showcase Cinemas, has announced that it is proactively pausing moviegoing in its theaters in North America. All their cinemas are now closed, with operations expected to resume by April 7.
“Throughout the Coronavirus outbreak, our staff and customers’ health has been and will be our No. 1 priority,” they said. “During the last few weeks, we have implemented COVID-19 prevention staff training, theater cleaning of high-touch surfaces and new staff/customer hygiene practices. Both in the United States and the United Kingdom, we were also one of the first movie exhibitors to institute a 50% audience capacity to allow for social distancing during shows.”
Bow Tie Cinemas (Closed)
Bow Tie Cinemas is “committed to the health and safety of our customers, staff members, and the greater moviegoing community,” the company said. “State and local governments have issued closing mandates for theaters, casinos, gyms, bars, restaurants and other public spaces. Effective Monday, March 16th, all Bow Tie Cinemas locations in all states will temporarily close.”
Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas (Closed)
Alamo Drafthouse has announced that all corporate-owned locations, and all but one franchise-owned locations, are now closed until further notice. All shows have been canceled, and all tickets will be refunded.
They add: “When we re-open after this unprecedented and indefinite hiatus, it will be in a dramatically altered world, and in an industry that’s been shaken to its core. We’ll be in close contact over the coming days and weeks with our teams, suppliers, and colleagues on what these closures mean and what we plan to do next.”
Landmark Theatres (Closed)
All Landmark Theatres are temporarily closed. “This decision allows our staff to remain at home during this critical time,” the company said. “We will be constantly re-evaluating the best way forward at all of our locations. Thank you for your loyalty.”
Cineplex – Canada (Closed)
In response to growing global concerns around the spread of COVID-19 and various Canadian government directives, Cineplex today announced that in an abundance of caution it will be temporarily closing its network of theatres and location-based entertainment venues across Canada starting March 16, 2020, through to April 2, 2020. The re-opening of locations will be reassessed at that time.
Cineworld & Picturehouse – UK (Closed)
Cineworld (which owns Regal Cinemas and soon will own Cineplex) and Picturehouse are closing all their cinemas across the UK and Ireland. The venues will be closed “until further notice”.
Cineworld Group CEO, Mooky Greidinger said, “At Cineworld and Picturehouse, we are committed to providing safe and healthy environments for our employees and guests and have therefore made the difficult decision to close our cinemas in UK and Ireland until further notice. We deeply value our cinema-loving customers and have no doubt we will be serving everyone again as soon as possible with a full slate of Hollywood blockbusters and the best of independent films and content.”
ODEON – UK (Closed)
Following government guidelines, ODEON cinemas are closed until further notice. “If you have pre-booked tickets online, these will be refunded automatically,” said the company.