New York

As movie theaters close nationwide, moviegoers hope more people will start returning to the big screen

New York — Regal Cinemas is closing dozens of movie theaters across the country, including its Union Square location.

As moviegoers find new ways to watch movies, the film industry is looking for different ways to engage audiences.

Whether it’s Big Kiss or Big Boom, some things are better on the big screen.

Harlem resident Alexis Croot said, “There’s nothing like being in a movie theater with popcorn and soda.

“You can feel the sound, and you can actually feel the vibration of the theater. It’s really amazing,” said tourist Julie Reese.

But the number of screens is shrinking.

Chelsea’s Cinepolis closed earlier this month, and on Friday, Regal Cinemas announced that its Union Square location would be one of 39 theaters to close nationwide in February. Eight of these 39 theaters are in New York and New Jersey.

Manhattan resident Jenny White said: “It’s very sad. I’ve been bringing my kids here for years.

“A lot of kids come here to see movies after school,” said one.

“It’s usually always crowded, so you definitely can’t miss it,” Kluto said.

Regal, the nation’s second-largest cinema chain with more than 500 theaters, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy just months after its parent company, Cineworld.

“With all these streaming platforms, it probably makes sense,” says East Harlem resident Minerva Naya.

Nationwide, there are now about 100 fewer movie theaters and about 1,500 fewer screens than before the pandemic.

“Are you a big cinema guy?” CBS2’s Ali Bauman asked one guy.

“Yes,” he said.

“What’s wrong?” Bouman asked.

“COVID,” said the man.

“COVID has forced people to stay at home and streaming has filled the void of going to the cinema,” said Mark Malkin, senior editor at Variety.

But theaters weren’t the only ones shut down during the pandemic. So was the production.

Patrick Corcoran, vice president of the National Association of Theater Owners, said, “The biggest reason we’ve been in trouble is that we don’t have enough movies, and that’s largely due to the pandemic.

But Corcoran is optimistic that many will take their seats as soon as the new film comes out.

“Audiences are willing to come. We have to have films for them to come see,” he said.

“I hope we can go back to the old days when people were out and about instead of being stuck in their homes,” said Manhattan resident Christian Morta.

Grab your popcorn and look for upcoming attractions before the credits roll at another theater. As movie theaters close nationwide, moviegoers hope more people will start returning to the big screen

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