AMC Theaters, Regal Cinemas to close all locations until further notice

AMC theater. Long Beach, California (Getty) 

Regal Cinemas and AMC Theaters have announced all of its theater locations will close in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Regal Cinemas, the nation's second-largest, made the announcement on Twitter on Monday.

"Regal announces closure of all theatre locations starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020, as a precaution amid the current circumstances," said its message.

The company continued: "All theatres will remain closed until further notice. Please check back soon. We look forward to serving you again as soon as possible."

The announcement of closures closely follows Universal Picture's decision to release its current and upcoming theatrical releases on home entertainment. 

The studio said it will put movies currently in theaters — “Invisible Man,” “The Hunt,” “Emma” — up for rental beginning as early as Friday. It also said that “Trolls World Tour,” one of the only major releases left on the April film release calendar, will debut in theaters and on-demand services simultaneously. A 48-hour rental will cost $19.99.

AMC Theaters had said on Monday it would limit audiences to less than 50 people for every screening to facilitate social distancing then quickly made the decision to close Tuesday. 

A one-sentence announcement was posted at the top of AMC Theaters website, “All AMC theatres are temporarily closed in accordance with local and federal guidelines. They will re-open when those guidelines allow.”