Tuesday, October 06, 2020

No, Mr. Bond, I Expect More Movie Theaters to Die

Regal Cinemas will (in theory, temporarily) close all 536 of its US movie theaters on Thursday.

There are four movie theaters in Gainesville. Three of them are Regal multi-screens, the fourth is the state-supported, campus-adjacent Hippodrome, which is also (in theory, temporarily) closed.

So, a city of a hundred thousand or so without any big-screen movie goodness for the foreseeable future.

The straw that broke the camel's back seems to be the delay (again) in releasing the latest James Bond movie, No Time to Die. It was supposed to come out in May. Then it was supposed to come out in November. Now the release date is next March.

I usually only catch a couple of big screen movies a year, including the annual Jerry's Birthday Grateful Dead concert flick.

Pandemic or no, this was looking like a bigger year. Jerry's Birthday was canceled, but I've already seen Tenet and No Time to Die and the upcoming remake of Dune were on my "gotta do that" calendar.

The theater owners seem to want to operate, but the film studios keep moving release dates back and/or trying to con viewers in to streaming new releases at home as rentals for half again the cost of a big-screen ticket.

Streaming was already hurting theaters badly. How many more months can they wait for some blockbusters to bring people in before they close their doors permanently?

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