FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Going to movie theaters to check out the latest releases is an American staple.
But as an unfortunate sign of the times, a major cinema is closing its doors due to the awful coronavirus pandemic.
Written across the marquee at the Fort Lauderdale Regal cinema where those movie titles would normally be are the words “temporarily closed.”
It’s the final scene for regal cinemas at least for the time being.
Cineworld, the parent company of the Regal movie theater chain, announced that it would temporarily close its 663 theaters in the United States and Britain.
In South Florida that means four locations will temporarily close in Miami-Dade. They are Regal South Beach, Regal Cinemas at Kendall Village, Regal at The Falls, and Regal Southland Mall in Cutler Bay.
In Broward County, Regal Broward & RPX at the Westfield Broward Mall, Regal Sawgrass, Regal Magnolia Place in Coral Springs, Regal Oakwood in Hollywood near I-95 will close their doors along with Regal Westfork in Pembroke Pines and Regal Cypress Creek Station in Fort Lauderdale.
This comes as big budget movies are being delayed, and that comes coupled with people fearful of being inside a theater in the midst of a global pandemic.
So will this impact nearby businesses? Crumbl Cookies near the Regal Westfork says they’ve been open for a few months now and have seen a surge in customers over the weekend once people would leave the theater, but say with or without it, they have a steady stream of customers.
“I don’t necessarily feel like the movie theater closing did anything to our business, but when it opened, I feel like it gave us a nice little spike in the weekends, Saturday, Friday, a little late night because we are open until 12 a.m.,” said owner Victoria Hernandez.
It’s a barren parking lot at the Regal Cypress Creek Station. Sal’s Italian Ristorante employees are sad to see the Regal go and said it will take away weekend patrons.
“We would have our guests come in before the movies or after with their families, grab a bite to eat before they went to see their movies, so it will definitely impact us definitely on the weekends,” said Sal’s employee Alexis.
How long will Regal theatres be closed for? No telling at this point, but Cinemark and AMC are still open for business.