Orange County, CA – Regal Cinemas, a subsidiary of Cineworld, is closing down 39 theaters across the country, adding to the dozen theaters that have already been shut down. Six of these theaters are located in Southern California, including Metro Point Costa Mesa in Orange County, Hemet Cinema 12 in Hemet, Sherman Oaks Galleria 16 in Los Angeles, and Yorba Linda and Imax theater in Yorba Linda. The decision to close these theaters was announced in a filing from Cineworld’s bankruptcy case on Tuesday.
Cineworld filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last September, which has led to these closures. The company is set to reject leases for these 39 theaters on February 15th, a move that is expected to save them roughly $22 million annually. In addition to the theaters in Southern California, the Parkway Plaza Stadium 18 and Imax in El Cajon, Escondido Stadium 16 and Imax, and Hemet Cinema 12 will also be closed. The Berkeley 7 cinemas in Northern California will also be shut down.
The closure of these theaters is a result of the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the movie theater industry. With most people opting to stay at home and social distance, movie theater attendance has dropped significantly. As a result, many theaters have had to shut down temporarily or permanently, causing significant financial strain on the industry.
In light of these closures, movie fans in Orange County and across Southern California will have to look for alternative ways to enjoy their favorite films. Some may choose to stream movies online or watch them at drive-in theaters. Others may opt for outdoor movie screenings, which have become increasingly popular during the pandemic.
The closure of these theaters is a reflection of the ongoing challenges faced by the movie theater industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With fewer people visiting movie theaters, companies like Regal and Cineworld are forced to make tough financial decisions, such as closing down theaters, to stay afloat. The impact of these closures will be felt not only by movie fans but also by the communities where these theaters are located.