SARASOTA, FL (WWSB/AP) — Regal will close hundreds of movie theatres. Those theatres include two located in Sarasota and Manatee County. The Sarasota-Manatee locations are Regal Hollywood Stadium 11 in Sarasota and Regal Oakmont 8 in Bradenton.
The second-largest movie theater chain in the U.S. is temporarily shutting down its locations Thursday due to a lack of blockbusters on the calendar and major domestic markets like New York remaining closed.
In the past few days, the already decimated 2020 release calendar lost another big film in the James Bond pic “No Time to Die.” It is at least partly due to the fact that one of the country’s biggest markets, New York, has not committed to a plan or a date for reopening cinemas in the state.
Last week groups representing theater owners, movie studios and directors issued a plea to U.S. lawmakers to provide relief to ailing movie theaters. The letter, signed by the likes of Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Patty Jenkins, Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese, said that if the status quo continues, nearly 70% of small to mid-size movie theaters could be forced to close permanently.
Efforts to slow the spread of the virus resulted in closure of most cinemas for nearly six months.
Some films pushed back 2020 openings as late as possible, like “Death on the Nile” (Dec. 18) and “Wonder Woman 1984,” which is now set for Christmas.
But others abandoned the year entirely, including Marvel’s “Black Widow,” Spielberg’s “West Side Story” and Universal’s “Candyman,” all of which were pushed to 2021 in recent weeks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.