LANESBOROUGH — Although its cinema complex in the Berkshire Mall remains temporarily closed, Regal Cinemas has resumed operations at 11 theatres in New York state, including two in the Capital Region.
Cineworld, Regal’s parent company, decided to reopen those theaters following New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent announcement that movie theatres located outside of New York City can reopen at 25 percent capacity under state guidance. All 11 theaters complexes have been closed since March. The theaters reopening include Regal’s cinema complexes in Colonie Center and Crossgates Mall in suburban Albany.
A spokesman for Regal did not respond to an email seeking comment on when the company’s 10 theatre complex in the Berkshire Mall may re-open. Regal had originally reopened the mall’s theatre complex under the state’s social distancing guidelines on Aug. 28. before shuttering it two weeks ago. The administration of Gov. Charlie Baker had expanded those guidelines on Oct. 5, allowing state movie theaters to expand their seating capacity from 25 patrons to 50 percent of their total capacity, or up to 250 patrons.
The nation’s second largest movie chain, Regal temporarily closed all of its theatre complexes across the country on Oct. 7 due to safety concerns regarding COVID-19 pandemic. The Tennessee-based chain operates 536 theatre complexes in 42 states, Washington D.C. and Guam. Regal has not said how long the temporary closures will last.
In a news release, Regal stated that its operations in other U.S. markets will remain temporarily suspended because of the lack of new movie releases, which its theaters need in order to maintain stable operations. With the cinemas opening in New York, Regal is hoping the studios will reschedule some of those new movie releases for November or December.
“Regal will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations at the appropriate time, when key markets have more concrete guidance on their reopening status and, in turn, studios are able to bring their pipeline of major releases back to the big screen,” Cineworld’s CEO Mooky Greidinger said at the time the theatres closed.
The pandemic has hit the movie industry hard. AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the world’s largest theater chain, announced Tuesday that it planned to raise cash through a share offering to help restructure its debt and avoid seeking bankruptcy protection, according to Reuters. The publicly traded company’s stock has fallen almost 11 percent. AMC is looking to sell up to 15 million of common stock, but Chief Executive Officer Adam Aron told Reuters that there was no timeline on the plan. The news comes after S&P announced earlier this month that AMC had just six months of cash reserves.
With the Berkshire Mall’s theater complex temporarily closed, only one of county’s four other cinemas is still open, the North Adams Multiplex 8, which is independently owned.