CHICAGO (WLS) -- Regal Cinemas is suspending all operations in the U.S. later this week, impacting nine locations in Illinois.
Regal is the second largest movie theater chain in the country. It is temporarily closing all of its 536 locations because of the pandemic, just months after they re-opened.
The company said they plan to close its locations in the U.S, on Thursday and hundreds more will close in the UK. That means thousands of people will lose their jobs.
Nine Regal Cinemas in Illinois will be impacted:
Regal City North 4DX & IMAX in Chicago
Regal Lake Zurich
Regal Webster Place in Chicago,
Regal Cantera & RPX in Warrenville
Regal Crystal Lake Showplace,
Regal Lincolnshire & IMAX
Regal Round Lake Beach
"There was no growth because there were no new movies," said Chris Johnson, CEO of Classic Cinemas. "As much as I would love for people to watch 'Goonies' and 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' for the 100th time, this is just challenging."
Classic Cinemas, based in Downers Grove, reopened its 11 theaters in Illinois and Wisconsin for just a few weeks before it became evident that it was costing them more to be open than closed. The problem for Johnson, regal and all other movie theater operators is the New York market, which remains shut down.
The loss has prompted film companies to postpone their big releases, such as the latest James Bond movie, "No Time to Die."
"I just had sent out a note that, actually on Friday, that we're going to open November 13 because there were a couple of movies on the 13 and Bond was going to be the 20 and then it was five minutes later I got the announcement on Bond and I was just devastated," Johnson said.
Regal, and the Cineworld Corporation, is the second-largest movie-theater operator globally and across the country.
Major theater chains have been screening independent films and older movies to try and keep their doors open.
Some Hollywood studios have even experimented with online release, so people can watch at home, instead of straight to the theaters.