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Regal 'temporarily' closing NY theaters, 20 days after reopening

Regal Lynbrook & RPX in Lynbrook, which reopened

Regal Lynbrook & RPX in Lynbrook, which reopened for the first time in seven months on Oct. 23, will temporarily close again. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Less than three weeks after re-opening after a 7-month closure due to the pandemic, Regal theaters on Long Island will temporarily close again on Thursday.

"In line with our previously announced strategy, Regal is temporarily suspending operations at the remainder of our theatres in New York State and California until the public health and operational environment allows for the resumption of a full release slate," the company said in a statement Wednesday.

"This change affects a very limited number of our theatres, which we had kept open following the delayed approval of theatre reopenings in their markets and in line with our wish to allow more of our customers to see 'Tenet' on the big screen," the statement continued. "Regal will continue to monitor the situation closely in coordination with guidance from public health officials and will communicate any future plans to resume operations when key markets offer more concrete plans on their reopening status and, in turn, studios are able to bring their pipeline of major releases back to the big screen."

The re-shuttering is the latest in a series of zig-zagging moves from Regal. In August, Regal joined forces with other local theater owners to pressure Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to allow them to reopen. In early October, Regal announced it would temporarily shutter all its U.S. theaters. But on Oct. 23, after Cuomo lifted his restriction on Long Island theaters, Regal re-opened their cinemas in Lynbrook, Westbury, Farmingdale and Deer Park. Its Ronkonkoma theater reopened on Oct. 30.

One reason for Regal’s re-closing: There aren’t enough movies to play. With theaters around the U.S. either temporarily closed or operating under severely restricted audience capacities, the major film studios decided to pull most of their potentially profitable movies from release in 2020. Regal said it would announce any future re-opening plans when "studios are able to bring their pipeline of major releases back to the big screen."

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