Two of the country's largest movie theater chains have shut its doors to combat the pandemic spread
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.
The movie industry faces another blow as theaters across the country are shutting down during the coronavirus pandemic.
Both Regal Cinemas and AMC Theaters announced the shutting down of its chain of theaters after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended new guidelines that limit social gatherings to less than 10 people.
AMC announced it will be closing for 6 to 12 weeks in hopes of battling the pandemic.
“We are ever so disappointed for our moviegoing guests and for our employee teams that the new CDC guidelines that Americans should not gather in groups larger than 10 people make it impossible to open our theaters,” CEO Adam Aron said in a statement, according to Variety. “Still, the health and wellbeing of AMC guests and employees, and of all Americans, takes precedence above all else. We will continue to monitor this situation very closely and look forward to the day we can again delight moviegoers nationwide by reopening AMC movie theaters in accordance with guidance from the CDC and local health authorities.”
“It’s our goal to provide a safe and healthy environment for our employees and guests,” said Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Regal’s parent company Cineworld, in Monday’s statement, according to USA Today. “At this time, we have made the difficult decision to close our theaters.”
The closures come after studios have delayed the openings of several of its biggest titles. Highly anticipated movies like the James Bond film No Time to Die, John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place Part II and the latest Fast and Furious sequel F9 will now be coming out at later dates.
Walt Disney Pictures has also opted to postpone the releases of Mulan, The New Mutants and Antlers. At this time, Disney is looking at new launch dates for later this year.
Coronavirus fears are growing in the U.S. as the number of cases continue to rise, with over 5,200 cases and at least 92 deaths as of March 17.
The majority of U.S. cases are in Washington state, California and New York, and all three have declared a state of emergency to redirect funding. President Donald Trump also declared a state of emergency across the country.
Worldwide, there are now over 189,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 7,505 deaths.