Closure of Regal Cinemas in Anaheim Hills, Irvine and Calabasas – Orange County Register

Regal theaters in Anaheim Hills, Irvine and Calabasas will close later this month as owner Cineworld Group reorganizes the chain and its leases in bankruptcy court.

The London-based company filed a petition on September 7 in US bankruptcy court in Texas, listing a total of 24 Cineworld-owned cinemas to be closed as the company reorganizes its operations amid a severe downturn. activities.

The action allows the company to reject its leases in the properties. Locally, they include:

— Anaheim Hills 14, 8030 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road, Anaheim Hills (closes Thursday, September 22)

— Westpark 8, 3735 Alton Parkway, Irvine (closed Thursday, September 22)

– Calabasas Stadium 6, 4767 Commons Way, Calabasas (closes Friday, September 30)

An erosion of the industry

The movie theater sector has continued to erode as more consumers turn to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and other home streaming services for entertainment – ​​a trend that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic has been an incredibly difficult time for our business, with forced closures of cinemas and huge disruptions to movie schedules that have gotten us to this point,” Cineworld chief executive Mooky Greidinger said in a statement. communicated.

The company was forced to close its cinemas around the world at the start of the pandemic. It reported losses of $2.7 billion in 2020 and $566 million in 2021.

Cineworld says it has secured $1.94 billion in new financing from existing lenders, which will ensure operations continue during the reorganization. It expects to exit Chapter 11 in the first quarter of 2023, but warned that shareholder investments would suffer.

Bankruptcy will give the company a chance to renegotiate with its owners in the United States and ask for better offers.

World No. 2

Cineworld acquired Regal Entertainment Group (now Regal Cinemas) in 2018 for $3.6 billion, making it the second largest cinema chain in the world, with over 500 theaters in the United States alone.

Cineworld’s website shows that as of December 31, it had 751 cinemas worldwide, with 9,189 screens. They operate under several banners, including Regal, Cineworld, Cinema City, Yes Planet, and Picturehouse.

AMC Theaters is the largest chain with more than 1,000 theaters worldwide and more than 11,000 screens, according to Zippia.

Greidinger said Cineworld’s bankruptcy was part of the company’s “ongoing efforts to strengthen its financial position and pursue deleveraging that will create a more resilient capital structure and efficient business.”

A financial restructuring, he said, “is in the interest of the group and its stakeholders, taken as a whole, in the long term”.

The 14-screen Anaheim Hills theater has been in operation since 1998 under a lease agreement between OTR and Edwards Theaters Circuit Inc.

Westpark 8 has been in operation since 1994 under a lease between Irvine Retail Properties Co. and Edwards Theaters Circuit. Calabasas 6 Stadium has been open since 1997 under a lease agreement between Century Investments Inc., CRM Properties Inc. and Edwards Megaplex Holdings LLC.

Other bankruptcy filings

Cineword is not the only cinema chain to file for bankruptcy protection.

Last year, Pacific Theaters Exhibition Corp. chose to close its 16 ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theaters locations. The company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to liquidate its remaining assets for its creditors, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In its Chapter 7 filing, Pacific Theaters said it had liabilities of over $69 million.

The leases for those theaters have since been taken over by larger chains, including Regal, which took over the ArcLight at the Sherman Oaks Galleria in 2021.

The Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse also filed for bankruptcy, along with Dallas-based Studio Movie Grill, though they have since emerged from bankruptcy.

Laemmle Theatres, a Los Angeles-based arthouse cinema chain, also ceded the leases for some of its properties.

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