This is not a drill…hopefully. Regal Cinemas has announced a new reopening date after postponing the July date they had set to open their doors again. Regal halted their reopening plans, along with AMC Theatres and Cinemark, after Tenet delayed its release date indefinitely. Now that Warner Bros. has announced that Tenet will open internationally at the end of August with the U.S. opening set for Labor Day weekend, Regal is making moves to coincide with that release date.
The second-largest movie theater chain in the U.S. has announced that it is planning to resume operations beginning on August 21. The news comes days after the company announced that it would be delaying its previously announced reopening date, which had been set for July 31. Regal is owned by Cineworld, which is one of the largest theater operators in the U.K. and Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld, had this to say about the new date:
“Welcoming theatergoers back to our cinemas will be a celebration for not only our team and our industry but most importantly for the fans who have been anxiously waiting for the year’s upcoming releases. With the health and safety of our staff, customers, and communities as our top priority, we are happy to invite audiences to return to the timeless theatrical experience that we have dearly missed.”
Regal will be implementing a slew of new safety measures once theaters do reopen. The chain updated its website with a new list of policies, including customers being required to wear a face mask in the lobby or anywhere outside of the theater itself. Though they will be permitted to take them off while eating or drinking in the auditorium, which will make it difficult to enforce the policy during the movie.
Regal has been shuttered since mid-March and the shutdowns have been truly harmful to the exhibition business. It is expected if theaters aren’t able to resume business soon, they will have to go out of business permanently. The current plan is to show older classics and former hits first, mostly to ease moviegoers back into the seats comfortably. Once bigger movies begin to open again, the hope is that the increased business will ease some of the bleeding that has taken place since their doors closed and let us all open that, beginning with Regal, this new reopening date sticks because as we’ve seen in the past, these dates have been very hard to maintain.