Pacific Theaters announced this week it will not reopen the Los Angeles-based ArcLight Cinemas chain, including the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood.
The company owned 16 movie theaters with 300 screens between the ArcLight and Pacific Theaters brands, according to the New York Times. The company fired its entire staff on Monday.
Like other theater operators, Pacific Theaters was forced to shutter its movie houses last spring as the pandemic took hold. None of its locations has reopened.
“This was not the outcome anyone wanted, but despite a huge effort that exhausted all potential options, the company does not have a viable way forward,” read a statement on ArcLight’s website.
L.A. County theaters were finally allowed to reopen last month at limited capacity under the state’s tiered reopening plan.
Theater operators nationwide have struggled to stay afloat through the pandemic. Popular movie chain Alamo Drafthouse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March, but plans to keep locations open while it navigates that process.
Larger chains have been battling back. AMC Entertainment Holdings had reopened almost 90 percent of its cinemas nationwide by mid-March. AMC sales dropped 89 percent at the end of 2020, however, as the pandemic’s second wave hit.
The movie industry could see longer-term changes with the growing popularity of streaming services. Some theater operators have been hesitant to show movies that are being simultaneously streamed.
[NYT] — Dennis Lynch