AMC, Regal closing all movie theaters amid coronavirus

AMC, Regal closing all movie theaters amid coronavirus
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Major movie theater chains AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas are closing down their locations across the country as concerns about the coronavirus outbreak intensify, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Regal, one of America's largest theater companies, said it would close all its locations indefinitely effective on Tuesday. The company, based in Knoxville, Tenn., runs 542 theaters with a total of 7,155 screens.

"At this time, we have made the difficult decision to close our theaters," said Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld, Regal's British parent company. "We value our movie-loving customers and have no doubt we will be serving them again as soon as possible."

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AMC said its closures would begin Tuesday and last for six to 12 weeks in response to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools MORE's call for Americans to limit public gatherings to no more than 10 people.

"We are ever so disappointed for our moviegoing guests and for our employee teams," said AMC chief executive Adam Aron. "Still, the health and wellbeing of AMC guests and employees, and of all Americans, takes precedence above all else. We will continue to monitor this situation very closely."

Previously, the company took measures to limit theater capacity by 50 percent in an attempt to remain open during the coronavirus crisis.

The moves also came after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) said in a news conference Sunday evening that theaters in the city must close down to aid in slowing the spread of the virus, according to the report.

His announcement also applied to other "nonessential" entertainment venues in the city, such as fitness centers, recreational sites and bars, which will remain closed through March 31. Restaurants may stay open for take-out and delivery.

"I want to stress that I have not taken these steps lightly," Garcetti said. "To some, it may feel wrong. But I would say it's exactly when things feel wrong that it's the right time to do them, and when things feel right, it's too late."

Cities and states across the country have been ordering restrictions on public events and businesses to stop the spread of the coronavirus.