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Regal Theatres In Jacksonville, Nationwide Temporarily Closing Again

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Jae C. Hong
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Associated Press
Karen Speros, 82, waits for a movie to start at the Regal Theatre in Irvine, Calif. on Sept. 8, 2020.

After it started reopening theatres in August, the parent company of Regal Theatres announced Monday all 536 of its U.S. theatres – including the ones in Jacksonville  –  are closing again, effective Thursday, Oct. 8. 

“We are especially grateful for and proud of the hard work our employees put in to adapt our theatres to the new protocols and cannot underscore enough how difficult this decision was," said Mooky Greidinger, CEO of parent company Cineworld, in a news release.

WJCT News tried reaching out to local two local Regal theatres but there was no answer beyond the automated voice system, which as of mid-morning on Monday made no mention of the theatres' closing again.

“The best place to watch a movie just got better. Subscribe now and enjoy as many movies as you want whenever you want. Included with your subscription, enjoy 10% off food and alcoholic drink purchases,” the automated Regal greeting said.

The Regal at River City Marketplace on Philips Highway near the Avenues Mall made no mention of the closing on its webpage and still had showtimes listed Monday morning. However there were no showtimes listed for the Regal River City Marketplace on Jacksonville's Northside, although its webpage did say the theatre “is Now Open!”

Although the automated phone system on Monday also still listed the theatre at 14051 Beach Blvd., that theatre has been removed from Regal’s web listings and its Facebook page is dark. Google lists the theatre as permanently closed, and its outdoor signs have been removed. 

Given Monday morning’s corporate announcement, it’s likely the company is still updating its websites and phone trees.

“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,” the company said in the news release.

The Regal closings come as yet another blockbuster movie’s opening has been pushed back. The release of the James Bond film No Time to Die has been delayed again, this time to April 2021.

Greidinger expresed optimism that Regal would made it through the pandemic.

“We value our movie-loving customers and have no doubt we will be serving them again as soon as possible with a full slate of Hollywood blockbusters. The Cineworld Group and Regal Theatres are strong, standing on solid ground,” Greidinger said.

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Credit Sun-Ray Cinema
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While the big theatre chains have continued to struggle with capacity restrictions and a lack of new movies to show, two independent Jacksonville theatres are soldiering on.

Sun-Ray Cinema in Five Points has brought drive-in movies back to Jacksonville, in addition to reopening its indoor theatres at limited capacity with assigned seating. The next Sun-Ray “pop-up” drive-in movie is scheduled for Oct. 9 at 9:30 p.m. at 225 Talleyrand Ave. Sun-Ray will be showing The Wolf of Snow Hollow. The cost is $24 per vehicle.

Jacksonville’s other independent operator, the San Marco Threatre, also remains open.  

- WJCT News' Heather Schatz contributed to this report.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.