As movies slip and Regal shuts doors again, many theaters may not survive the maelstrom

AMC movie theater logo (STOCK)

James Bond may have been the last straw for Regal and Cineworld, but analysts I spoke to agree: the only thing that will truly save movie theaters in the United States is a COVID-19 vaccine.

On Thursday, Regal Cinemas — the second-largest theater chain in the US with 536 theaters and 7,076 screens — will officially shut all its doors in the United States for the second time during the global pandemic. Its parent company Cineworld is closing 127 theaters in the UK as well. Over 45,000 people may lose their jobs or be furloughed, and there’s no timeline for reopening.

In what seems like good news, AMC and Cinemark, the first- and third-largest US chains respectively, will not be following Regal’s lead. Each confirmed today that over 80…

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