Regal movie theaters close

Tallahassee Regal Theater parking lot a ghost town after second shut down of 2020. Photo by Mariah Wiggs

No lights, cameras or action will be taking place at Regal Governor’s Square after the company shut down for a second time this year, effective Thursday.  More than 350 theaters were affected by the company-wide closing.

The theaters experienced a short-lived reopening in August after  being order to close along with many other businesses due to the pandemic.  

Despite the effort to “support a safe and sustainable reopening in the U.S.,” CEO of Regal’s parent company, Cineworld, Mooky Greidinger, said in a release that the original closing of the theaters put a hold on movies that would have been released and provided revenue for the Regal chain.   Even after their reopening in late August, most of the year’s movies had been released for home viewing making it “simply impossible to continue operations in our primary markets.”

College students in the area were disappointed to hear the news as they relied on Regal and its convenient location for date nights, movie premiers and fresh, movie theater popcorn.

The theaters’ sudden closing came to a shock to frequent visitors like Robyn Farrington, who found out about the closing earlier Thursday.

“I was not too happy to hear about the closing of Regal Theatre because there is not much to do in Tallahassee,” Farrington said. “It is an inconvenience because I normally come over here to go to the movies and the mall.”

Regal Billboard encourages viewers to stream on their app while announcing temporary close. Photo by Mariah Wiggs

Tallahassee is not the only city experiencing Regal shutdowns.  The Regal theater chain is closing all 536 of its theaters across 42 states at close of business on Thursday, until further notice.  As a subsidiary of Cineworld, Regal is the second-largest film exhibitor in the U.S. following AMC Theatres.

AMC on North Monroe Street at the former Tallahassee Mall is now the closest theater option for most college students in Tallahassee. Some young adults are dreading going the extra mile to watch a movie.

“Regal was closer to my apartment complex, so it was nothing for me to come and catch a movie,” said Kennedy Anderson.  “Now, I have to drive about 10 extra minutes if I want to go to AMC Theatre.”

Tallahassee newcomer and Florida State University freshman Samantha Gargan had never been to the Regal theater and now fears that she may never get the opportunity.

“I never got the chance to go because of COVID-19 restrictions,” Gargan said.  “I really enjoy going to movies so if I would have known about it, I would have gone.”