Cineworld Shuts Down 39 Regal Theaters After Filing For Bankruptcy

Photo via Regal Instagram

Cineworld Shuts Down 39 Regal Theaters After Filing For Bankruptcy

By Movieguide® Contributor

Regal Cinemas plans to shut down 39 movie theaters across the country to save $22 million per year and avoid bankruptcy. 

The theater chain is owned by Cineworld, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last September. They received $1.94 billion in bankruptcy loans and have been putting together a plan to recover from their financial hardships.

Part of that plan is to close 39 Regal theaters, effective February 15. 

“The Debtors are hopeful that these negotiations will lead to lease concessions and modifications that will obviate the need for rejection and enable additional theater sites to remain open,” court documents about the closings read.

California is losing seven theaters, while New York is losing six. Theaters in Miami, Boston, Seattle and Washington D.C. are also being shut down. 

Movieguide® previously reported on Cineworld’s bankruptcy issues:

Debt pile-up, accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has forced Cineworld Group, which owns Regal Cinemas in the U.S., to move forward with Chapter 11 cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

“As part of the Chapter 11 cases, Cineworld, with the expected support of its secured lenders, will seek to implement a de-leveraging transaction that will significantly reduce the Group’s debt, strengthen its balance sheet and provide the financial strength and flexibility to accelerate, and capitalize on, Cineworld’s strategy in the cinema industry,” a Cineworld statement reads.

“The Group Chapter 11 Companies enter the Chapter 11 cases with commitments for an approximate $1.94 billion debtor-in-possession financing facility from existing lenders, which will help ensure Cineworld’s operations continue in the ordinary course while Cineworld implements its reorganization,” the statement continued.

Cineworld also announced a plan to “pursue a real estate optimisation strategy in the U.S. and intends to engage in collaborative discussions with U.S. landlords to improve U.S. cinema lease terms in an effort to further position the group for long-term growth.”

The announcement concluded that global and U.S. operations and business would continue despite their debt.

Variety reported:

The company recorded a $708.3 million loss before tax for the full year ending Dec. 31, 2021, a vast improvement from the $3 billion loss in 2020. However, the group’s net debt, excluding lease liabilities, increased by $492.7 million from $4.33 billion to $4.84 billion. In July 2021, Cineworld secured $200 million of additional liquidity via incremental loans.

“We have an incredible team across Cineworld laser focused on evolving our business to thrive during the comeback of the cinema industry,” Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger said. “The pandemic was an incredibly difficult time for our business, with the enforced closure of cinemas and huge disruption to film schedules that has led us to this point.”

“This latest process is part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen our financial position and is in pursuit of a de-leveraging that will create a more resilient capital structure and effective business. This will allow us to continue to execute our strategy to reimagine the most immersive cinema experiences for our guests through the latest and most cutting- edge screen formats and enhancements to our flagship theatres. Our goal remains to further accelerate our strategy so we can grow our position as the best place to watch a movie,” Greidinger continued.

Cineworld accounts for 9,139 screens globally.

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