There will soon be fewer choices when it comes to where you can get that fresh buttery popcorn and enjoy the latest flick.
Regal Cinemas is set to close 39 more movie theaters nationwide after its parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September.
“It’s not a surprise when we hear movie theaters are closing,” said Mark Malkin.
Malkin is the senior editor at Variety. He says the movie industry is still struggling from the pandemic and companies that own theaters like Regal don’t have the money to keep paying sky-high rents.
“It was sort of this crazy perfect storm, if you will, of COVID and streaming taking off. COVID forced people to be at home, and then streaming sort of filled that void of going to a movie theater, people were able to watch movies at home and we have to see it’s much less expensive,” said Malkin.
Regal is the second-largest cinema chain in the U.S., with over 500 theaters. Jason Squire, a professor emeritus at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, believes there is still room for theaters.
“There’s a core huge number of movie-goers who could not wait to rush back to theaters and are in theaters now, look at the big box office that we had at the holiday season. Most movie-goers will absolutely go to the theatrical event, those with Oscar buzz and any other kind of buzz,” he said.
“People are going to go to the theaters for the big huge movies like the Avatars, the Mission Impossible, the Top Guns. Those are the movies where theaters are going to thrive,” said Malkin.