Regal Cinemas Shutting Down Longtime Seattle Theater

By Zuri Anderson

January 20, 2023

Owner Of Regal Cinemas Files For Bankruptcy
Photo: Getty Images

Regal Cinemas is shuttering dozens of movie theaters across the United States, including one in Seattle, starting on February 15, according to Variety.

Cineworld, Regal's parent company, decided to close 39 theaters in the country after declaring bankruptcy last October. The wave of closures affects Meridian 16 in downtown Seattle.

Movie theaters were one of the hardest-hit businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of them closed to curb the spread of the novel disease, leading to Cineworld losing $3 billion in 2020 and $708.3 before taxes in 2021. The company runs over 700 theaters globally with roughly 500 of them in the United States alone, making it the second-largest theater chain in America.

Cineworld expects to save $22 million every year by closing these theaters and plans on renegotiating leases to keep current ones open, legal documents obtained by Variety state.

"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," the theater operator said in a court filing.

Despite big releases like Top Gun: Maverick, Avatar: The Way of Water, and Spider-Man: No Way Home gracing theaters last year, attendance still hasn't bounced back to pre-pandemic levels, according to The New York Times.

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