[Photo by Andreas Praefcke via Wikipedia Commons]

America’s largest movie theater chain, AMC Theaters is closing all of its locations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Late last week, it was announced that many major cinema chains, including AMC would show films at half capacity.

On March 16, AMC officially announced that all of its cinemas (approximately 1,000) will be closed for the next six to twelve weeks, starting today, March 17. 

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On March 13, AltPress reported that AMC and others were lowering the seating capacity of all of their theaters in the U.S. by 50 percent due to coronavirus.

The company were making the move to promote social distancing as recommended by health authorities.

AMC CEO Adam Aron told The Hollywood Reporter the company is being proactive about allowing guests to watch movies in their theaters.

“AMC is proactively taking action to cut in half the number of tickets that we will make available at all our U.S. theatres,” says Aron. “With this action, we are facilitating the ‘social distance’ between guests who still want to see movies on a big screen.”

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Now, it seems AMC is more serious about the pandemic. They arecompletely shutting down theaters for up to three months. 

“We are ever so disappointed for our moviegoing guests and for our employee teams that the new CDC guidelines that Americans should not gather in groups larger than 10 people make it impossible to open our theaters,” s AMC CEO Adam Aron in a new statement to THR. “Still, the health and well-being of AMC guests and employees, and of all Americans, takes precedence above all else.”

The brief statement on Twitter also discusses some more details. They cite new regulations at local, state and federal levels. 

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In compliance with local, state, and federal #COVID19 directives, all #AMCTheatres locations are now closed for at least 6-12 weeks. AMC Stubs A-List memberships will be paused automatically during the time AMC theatres are closed.

It would be too difficult for AMC to juggle logistics depending on region. It would also be reckless. Thus, it definitely seems the best move in this case. Maybe not financially, but that’s not what’s important right now. 

America’s second-largest cinema chain Regal also made a similar announcement. On March 16 they also stated they would be temporarily closing their locations to combat coronavirus. Regal, however, did not give an expected reopening date.

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“Any time, at any Regal, it’s our goal to provide a safe and healthy environment for our employees and guests,” Mooky Greidinger CEO of Cineworld said to Deadline. “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. The Cineworld Group and Regal Theatres are strong, standing on solid ground and our continued goal is to be The Best Place to Watch a Movie!”

Due in part to closing theaters, many film studios have delayed the theatrical releases of their films. A Quiet Place Part II, Mulan and most recently Marvel‘s Black Widow have all been delayed. 

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Other companies such as NBCUniversal are early-releasing some of their films that are already in theaters to be available for video on demand. These include The Hunt, The Invisible Man and Trolls World Tour. Other studios are expected to follow suit. 

For a constantly updating list of major tour, concert, festival and event cancelations due to coronavirus, head here. We’re certain more events will be cancelled in due time. 

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