Alamo Drafthouse, Regal, AMC closing theaters as nation fights coronavirus spread

Coronavirus

NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 24: Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” opens at the Regal Cinemas 14 February 24, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

AUSTIN (KXAN/Nexstar Media Wire) – Movie theaters across the country are closing amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to press releases sent out this week. Regal, AMC and local Alamo Drafthouse have all said they are shutting down temporarily.

The move followed an address by President Trump Monday when he asked the public to avoid groups of more than 10 people.

Alamo Drafthouse had initially made an effort to increase social distancing by reserving the seats around a chosen selection so no one else could sit there. On Monday evening, it said all its corporate-owned locations and all but one franchise would shut down. Tickets would be refunded, it said. It was working to support its employees through its Alamo Family Fund in partnership with the Emergency Assistance Foundation, and through its AlamoGives initiative has committed up to $2 million.

“To our guests, colleagues, and friends – we wish you the best, and we look forward to serving you again soon. Thank you. We will meet again,” it wrote.

The closure for Regal is set to begin Tuesday and will remain in place until further notice.

Regal, one of the largest movie chains in the country with 542 theaters in 42 states, said the decision was taken “as precaution amid the current circumstances.”

“Any time, at any Regal, it’s our goal to provide a safe and healthy environment for our employees and guests,” Mooky Greidinger, Cineworld CEO, was quoted in the release. “At this time, we have made the difficult decision to close our theatres. We value our movie-loving customers and have no doubt we will be serving them again as soon as possible with a full slate of Hollywood blockbusters.”

AMC wrote on its site it is closing all its theaters “in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines. They will reopen when those guidelines allow.” AMC has more than 380 locations.

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