The Regal theater at the Shops at Stonefield has survived a round of closures that threatened to shutter the Charlottesville area’s only IMAX movie house.
Tennessee-based Regal Cinemas said earlier this year it would be closing the theater, and 38 others, on Feb. 15, according to legal documents filed as part of the bankruptcy proceedings of the chain’s parent company, U.K.-based Cineworld.
“They have been removed from the list,” Stonefield General Manager Kendra Walston confirmed to The Daily Progress on Thursday. “It was definitely a concern, but we’re ecstatic that they’re going to be staying here at Stonefield.”
Since Jan. 20, 25 Regal theaters across the country have been removed from a register of Regal’s official locations, according to internet archives.
Walston had previously said that Stonefield’s landlords were “in ongoing discussions with Regal” to keep the location operating. She has not divulged what those conversations included.
“We know there has been conflicting information around Regal Stonefield ScreenX & IMAX being closed,” Stonefield announced in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “We are pleased to announce that nothing has changed—REGAL is open and is officially off the list of closures!”
It is unclear what “conflicting information” the post refers to.
Walston said she could not discuss any information regarding Regal’s lease at the shopping center.
“Anything that has to do with their lease I will not be able to disclose,” she said. “That would have to come from Regal.”
Regal has not responded to multiple requests for comment from The Daily Progress since the original list of planned closures was announced.
Cineworld, the world’s second-largest cinema chain, said in its legal filings earlier this year that it planned to close Stonefield theater and 38 other locations nationwide in a move that would 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 and owed more than $5 billion in bank and private placement loans.
Cineworld said Friday that it expected its shareholders would be wiped out entirely and that they should not expect to recover any funds from a restructuring or sale of the business.
The company said it had received some nonbinding proposals to buy some or all of its business. None of those, however, were an all-cash bid for the entire company.
“Based on the proposals received to date, it is not expected that any sale transaction will provide any recovery for the holders of the company’s equity interests,” it said.
The same goes for any proposed restructuring, it added, “in light of the level of existing debt that is expected to be released under any plan.”
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 the company filed for bankruptcy protection.
Regal remains the second-largest cinema chain in the U.S., with roughly 480 theaters in operation, according to its website. Kansas-based AMC Theaters is No. 1, with nearly 600 theaters in operation, according to the company.
The Regal Stadium 14 in Stonefield houses 14 projection rooms, an IMAX screening room and stadium seating. It was one of the first retail tenants to open at Stonefield in November 2012.
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