Two weeks after Cineworld announced the closing of its U.S. 536 Regal Cinemas chain, the circuit is reopening 11 locations in New York this Friday, Oct. 23 following Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent approval to reopen movie theaters in the Empire State.
The 11 Regal sites join the chain’s seven California multiplexes which continue to stay open.
“We are grateful to finally have initial guidelines from the state. With the implementation of robust health and safety measures as a part of our commitment to the CinemaSafe protocols, our New York theatres and staff are thoroughly prepared for a safe and sustainable reopening. After seven months, we are thrilled to welcome back our beloved staff and customers,” said Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld. “We are sure that the next step will be opening of cinemas in New York City, which is still critical for the recovery of the industry.”
Soon after making the decision to shut down his Cineworld and Regal Cinemas, Greidinger slammed Cuomo in an exclusive Deadline interview, blaming the Governor’s “inflexibility” to reopen cinemas in New York, despite reopening casinos and gyms; a move which has severely crippled the motion picture industry and the box office.
On Oct. 9, Regal used its 42nd Street marquee to admonish Cuomo’s reluctance to reopen cinemas. That prime location remains shuttered as New York City awaits a go-ahead to reopen cinemas.
“48 states have reopened theatres safely. Why not New York, Governor Cuomo?” read the marquee’s digital strip earlier this month.
Those Regal Cinemas in NY reopening under 25% capacity guidelines include Colonie Center (Albany, NY), Crossgates Mall (Albany, NY), Walden Galleria (Buffalo, NY), Quaker Crossing (Orchard Park, NY), Deer Park (Deer Park, NY), Lynbrook (Lynbrook, NY), New Roc City (New Rochelle, NY), Galleria Mall (Poughkeepsie, NY), Destiny USA (Syracuse, NY), Eastview (Victor, NY) and the UA Westbury (Westbury, NY)
Regal’s release today reads that the chain’s “theatre operations in other U.S. markets will remain temporarily suspended due to the lack of new movie releases. Cinemas must have a solid pipeline of new movies in order to maintain stable operations and now, with the opening of cinemas in New York, Regal is hopeful the studios will re-schedule some of the movies which they put on hold, to be released in November and December 2020.”
Opening wide this weekend is 20th Century Studios/Disney’s feature adaptation of the Boom! Studios genre graphic novel The Empty Man. United Artists Releasing also has a wide re-release of last year’s fall animated hit The Addams Family.