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Regal closing Stonefield theater

The Charlottesville area will be losing its only IMAX movie house.

Regal Cinemas will be closing its theater at the Shops at Stonefield, according to legal documents filed as part of the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings of the chain’s parent company.

Tennessee-based Regal’s parent company, U.K.-based Cineworld, said in the filings it plans to reject 39 theater leases, including the one at Stonefield, on Feb. 15.

“We are in ongoing discussions with Regal,” Kendra Walston, general manager at the shopping center, told The Daily Progress on Friday.

Walston said she could not comment beyond that.

The Regal Stadium 14 in Stonefield , with 14 projection rooms, an IMAX screening room and stadium seating, takes up an impressive amount of space. And it is unclear what other tenant, other than another theater chain, could replace it.

The Stonefield Regal began screening movies in November 2012 and was one of the first retail tenants to open at the outdoor shopping center.

Cineworld said in its legal filings that it estimates closing the Stonefield cinema and 38 others will save the company roughly $22 million annually.

Cineworld, which filed for bankruptcy protection in Texas in September of last year, had less than $4 million in cash on hand at the time.

The company has blamed COVID for its financial struggles.

“The pandemic was an incredibly difficult time for our business, with the enforced closure of cinemas and huge disruption to film schedules that has led us to this point,” CEO Mooky Greidinger said in a statement at the time.

Regal remains the second-largest cinema chain in the U.S., with roughly 500 theaters in operation, according to its website. Kansas-based AMC Theaters is No. 1, with nearly 600 theaters in operation, according to the company.


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