Regal is closing six theaters in Southern California

Regal is closing six theaters in Southern California

Regal is closing six theaters in Southern California

Want to catch up on Women Talking, The Fabelmans, or Avatar: The Way of Water ahead of the Oscars?

Your list of places to visit just got a little shorter.

Six Regal Cinemas theaters across the Southland are set to close, according to a new filing filed by the chain’s parent company, Cineworld Group, on Tuesday as part of its bankruptcy proceedings.

Theaters affected include Sherman Oaks Galleria 16 in Los Angeles; subway point in Costa Mesa; Yorba Linda & IMAX in Yorba Linda; Escondido Stadium 16 & IMAX in Escondido; Hemet 12 cinema in Hemet; and Parkway Plaza Stadium 18 & IMAX in El Cajon.

The Southern California locations are among 39 to have a list of “Leases to Be Rejected” in the Cineworld filing. The closures are expected to begin in February.

Theaters in Berkeley and Las Vegas are also affected.

Regal stores in Calabasas, Irvine, Anaheim Hills and San Francisco have already closed, according to an insider who was the first to notice the closures.

Cineworld, the second largest cinema operator in the world, filed for bankruptcy last September.

According to its most recent filing, the company is seeking an order authorizing it to refuse unexpired real estate leases and to relinquish “certain equipment, fixtures, furniture or other personal property” contained therein.

Cineworld reported $10.35 billion in net debt at the end of June.

The company said it secured $1.94 billion in new financing to continue operations while it reorganizes under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Cineworld’s legal representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved a difficult time for cinemas, which – like many other players in the events industry – have struggled with falling sales and absentee customers, as well as shifts in the release schedules for profitable blockbusters. The rise of streaming has also changed where and how consumers watch movies.

Cineworld’s American theaters are “a significant contributor to their current financial challenges,” the company wrote in its Tuesday filing. “Due primarily to the impact of deferred rent payments, debtors estimate that average monthly rent commitments per theater have increased nearly 30% since July 2022 compared to full-year 2019.”

This isn’t Regal’s first rodeo. After a period of overdevelopment in the ’90s, the chain filed for bankruptcy in 2001, only to reemerge a year later after a reorganization.

Cineworld, a British company, then agreed to buy Regal in 2017 with an acquisition deal that valued the chain at $3.6 billion.

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