Regal Cinemas, the second-largest movie chain in the U.S., will close all of its stateside movie theater locations starting Tuesday, March 17, in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the company will close 543 Regal Cinemas theaters across the country. After a White House press conference took place on Monday, the U.S. government recommended Americans avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
Regal Cinemas owner Cineworld’s CEO Mooky Greidinger, spoke to THR further about the closings:
“Any time, at any Regal, it’s our goal to provide a safe and healthy environment for our employees and guests. At this time, we have made the difficult decision to close our theaters. 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.”
THR says to expect more U.S. cinemas to announce closings soon as well.
Over the last few days, movie theaters across the U.S. and Europe have responded to the COVID-19 virus. AMC Theatres capped audience attendance and all New York City and L.A. theaters were ordered closed. Many theatre chains across Europe have announced shutdowns, with France outright closing them.
This news follows several studios halting production on movies like Uncharted earlier on Monday, The Matrix 4, and many others mentioned in our ongoing list here.
Jeffrey Lerman is a Freelance News Writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @Snakester95.