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One of the most well-known movie theaters in the country has shut down. All of the Regal Cinemas and other theaters owned by their parent company, Cineworld, have all shut down due to COVID-19. This includes the Regal theaters in Washington at the Crown Center Mall, in Morgantown, WV, and in Erie, PA.
Although this chain started to reopen back in August, many movies’ release dates have been pushed back because of the pandemic, which has caused theaters to shut down once again.
Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Regal’s parent company, Cineworld, stated in an article for npr.org that this decision will be safer for the country to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Some theaters like AMC at South Hills and Marquee Cinemas in Triadelphia are staying in business by playing old movies instead of releasing new movies for 2020.
Junior Emily Ewbank has been waiting for the movie “After We Collided” since production wrapped up back in August of 2019, but because of COVID-19, an initial release date was pushed back until October 23, 2020. Similarly, a new James Bond movie, “No Time to Die,” was supposed to come out in August, but due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, the movie got pushed back until 2021.
Ewbank states, “It’s very unfortunate that Regal has been closed down. Now that teens can’t go to the Regal Cinemas in town at the Crown Center, their only option is to drive 45 minutes, which is very inconvenient and difficult to do. Going to see a movie was almost a Friday tradition for teens to see the new hit movies just in town. It’s more difficult to go out and have fun with just your friends without staying home.”
Although Regal Cinemas plan on reopening next year, some think the business may not thrive because of all the digital apps that give quick access to newly released movies. Others believe that these theaters will come back stronger than ever.
Which speculation is correct for movie theaters and COVID-19? Only time will tell.