EXCLUSIVE: No, it’s not all bad news for exhibition out there in the pandemic. Deadline has learned that seven Regal theaters — the only ones in the Cineworld-owned U.S. chain–will remain open in California. The news comes after Cineworld said earlier this week that it was closing its UK locations and its Regal chain on account of the lack of major studio tentpoles and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s refusal to give the greenlight to movie theaters reopening in the Empire State.
Those Regals staying open are the newly refurbished Irvine Spectrum, which Tenet filmmaker Christopher Nolan and his producer wife Emma Thomas visited recently to take in Broken Hearts Gallery and The Personal History of David Copperfield. It makes sense that Cineworld would keep Irvine open: The multiplex was the No. 2 breadwinner for Tenet last weekend, the No. 4 site over the weekend of September 25-27, the No. 3 site over September 18-20, and the No. 2 site over September 11-13.
Also staying open for Regal are its California locations in Carlsbad, the Manchester 16, La Habra, Temecula, Riverside Plaza and Delta Shores.
Said a Regal rep in a statement, “While Regal will temporarily suspend theatre operations at close of business today, Thursday, October 8, seven locations in California will remain open at this time. These seven theatres are located in markets throughout the state and had recently opened. Now, they will remain open to offer audiences in those newly-opened markets an opportunity to see Tenet on the big screen along with other current releases.”
And while Los Angeles remains closed, those areas included in the city’s DMA will continue to benefit from moviegoing traffic. We saw this recently when Orange County reopened, and now we can look forward to see some turnstiles spinning in Ventura County, which has just moved to the less restrictive red tier, allowing 25% occupancy in cinema auditoriums.
Of those theaters reopening this weekend in time for 101 Studios Robert De Niro family comedy War With Grandpa (booked at 2,250 locations) on Friday are AMC’s Thousand Oaks locale, the Cinemark Riverpark in Oxnard, Cinemark Century 10 in downtown Ventura, and the Paseo Camarillo Cinema. Cinepolis in Westlake will be in full operation Monday. We’re still waiting the reopening date for Simi Valley Movie Grill.
The Regal Simi Valley won’t be reopening, and the Regency Theatre in Westlake Village won’t reopen as it resides in Los Angeles County.