Cinemark is joining the other major U.S. exhibition circuits in shutting its doors in the face of the growing coronavirus pandemic. The chain said Tuesday it is closing all 345 of its U.S. theater effective Wednesday.
“Through these absolutely unprecedented and evolving times, one thing will not change, and that is Cinemark’s dedication to its team members and moviegoers,” said Mark Zoradi, Cinemark CEO. “The decision to close our U.S. theaters was incredibly tough, but we know it is the right thing to do as global coronavirus concerns continue to escalate. We will closely monitor recommendations of national and local governmental health organizations and look forward to inviting everyone to once again enjoy experiencing the movies with Cinemark.”
On Monday, the nation’s largest theatrical exhibition company AMC said that all 630 of its U.S. venues will close for at least six to 12 weeks starting today. Earlier in the day, AMC’s closest rival, Regal, also decided to close its entire chain until further notice.
On Monday night, before AMC shuttered, the number of theaters hitting pause due to the coronavirus response was just north of 3,000. Chains including Landmark Theatres, Cineplex Odeon and Alamo Drafthouse are also shut down.
The moves are due to compliance with local, state and federal directives and as a precaution to help ensure the health and safety of moviegoers and staff. That became the driving force for the shutdowns; the industry wasn’t originally planning to shut down despite last weekend’s historic low at the box office.
Throughout the crisis, studios have been canceling or postponing dates on their fare with the scope of the pandemic changing almost hourly both in the U.S. and overseas. Those pics included tentpoles from the James Bond pic No Time to Die to Mulan, Trolls World Tour and F9, and most recently Marvel’s Black Widow earlier today.
As for Cinemark, it said Tuesday that it is extending the expiration of Cinemark Movie Rewards points to June 30. It also is pausing all Movie Club memberships, with members able to maintain unused movie credits and billing on hold.