AUSTIN, Texas - Moviegoers won’t be able to watch a movie on the big screen at Regal Theaters any time soon.
On Wednesday, the movie theater chain closed all 536 of its U.S. theaters saying the lack of movie releases has driven them to this point.
“I think that production companies and studios are having to sort of pivot as well and find new and interesting ways to get this content out. Because if not, they're gonna, they're gonna lose even more than they've already lost and sadly, you know, movie theaters are taking the brunt of that,” said Ya'ke Smith, associate professor of film at UT and independent filmmaker.
The temporary closure of the movie theaters has affected nearly 45,000 employees. This comes after the chain reopened its theaters two months ago with COVID-19 guidelines.
Smith says he isn't surprised movie theaters are struggling to keep their doors open. “Movie theaters were already sort of declining in terms of revenue because we're watching everything on our computers,” he said.
Additionally, Smith says the film industry couldn't even produce new content due to COVID-19 restrictions for theaters to showcase. “If people weren't shooting anything for six months, well, there is no content to put into the movie theaters, there's nothing to put up on Netflix, and so that's pushed a lot of production schedules back,” said Smith.
Smith says it was only recently that production companies were sent guidelines and allowed to film again. He says production companies are now getting creative with pumping out content, but the question still remains: will that content end up on the big screen?
“I think out of this drought would come so much more innovative content. Now what happens with that content and where that content lives? I don't know,” he said.
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