The number of movie theaters closing today in U.S. and Canada went from around 200 this morning to well past 3,000 locations tonight according to sources.
Alamo Drafthouse has just shuttered all its corporate-owned sites and all but one franchise-owned location in Winchester, VA. Over the weekend, it had already turned out the lights at its Yonkers, NY and Brooklyn, NY sites. Alamo made the news public to their attendees in an online message today entitled “Goodbye for now. We’ll be back” in which the chain exclaimed “This news – this situation – is devastating.”
“To try and assist as many staff members as possible, we’re working with the Emergency Assistance Foundation to expand and streamline our Alamo Family Fund in order to be able to respond to the increased need for emergency assistance by those affected. Alamo Drafthouse, through the AlamoGives initiative, has committed up to $2 million to this relief fund,” read Alamo’s online statement.
Canada’s main cinematic arteries, the Cineplex Odeon and Landmark Cinemas, are also closed as well; the entire Canadian marketplace typically delivers around 9% to the domestic box office. Cineplex Odeon boss Ellis Jacob released a statement today that all 165 venues will be down until April 2.
Theaters are closing so fast, distribution executives can’t keep track.
Earlier today the second-biggest chain in the U.S. and Canada, Regal Cinemas, told Deadline exclusively they were going dark at all 7,155 screens in 542 theaters in 42 states as of Tuesday until further notice. A few moments ago, U.S.-based arthouse chain Landmark Theatres said it was temporarily closing all 49 locations for precautionary reasons as of tonight.
In the wake of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti closing all cinemas, bars, gyms, etc., many local ordinances around the country have taken their cues. Currently cinemas are locked up in Ohio, Colorado, Washington, Michigan, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Louisiana.
AMC is largely holding the line, I hear, vying to stay open in whatever town permits them.
Today, Universal, anticipating the large swatch of closures, decided to make their current theatrical releases —The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Focus Features’ Emma–available on demand in home at $19.99 each. Trolls World Tour, their Easter weekend theatrical release on April 10, will also be available in homes.
Below is the message, along with a cute video, left by Alamo Drafthouse to its denizens:
We are deeply saddened to announce that all Alamo Drafthouse Cinema corporate-owned locations, and all but one* franchise-owned locations, are now closed until further notice. All shows have been canceled, and all tickets will be refunded.
This news – this situation – is devastating.
When we re-open after this unprecedented and indefinite hiatus, it will be in a dramatically altered world, and in an industry that’s been shaken to its core. We’ll be in close contact over the coming days and weeks with our teams, suppliers, and colleagues on what these closures mean and what we plan to do next.
This has already been a trying time for our entire team – servers, kitchen staff, bartenders, projectionists, concierge crew, managers – everyone who makes Alamo Drafthouse what it is. To try and assist as many staff members as possible, we’re working with the Emergency Assistance Foundation to expand and streamline our Alamo Family Fund in order to be able to respond to the increased need for emergency assistance by those affected. Alamo Drafthouse, through the AlamoGives initiative, has committed up to $2 million to this relief fund. We will have more information on this very soon.
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.