Theaters Weigh Chapter 11

Cineworld, which owns Regal Cinemas, is $5B in debt
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2022 6:02 PM CDT
Cineworld Looks at Bankruptcy
A pedestrian walks past a Cineworld cinema in Leicester Square, London, in 2020.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

Struggling under debt totaling $5 billion, the parent company of Regal Cinemas said Monday it's weighing a bankruptcy filing in the US. Cineworld said that while it considers reorganization, its theaters will remain open and none of its 28,000 jobs globally will be cut, the BBC reports. The company has theaters in 10 countries, including Picturehouse locations in the UK. Cineworld has struggled to recover from the pandemic and recently said there haven't been enough blockbuster films released to bring audiences back. The rise of streaming services during the lockdown also have cut into theater business.

The company said it's looking at several options "to both obtain additional liquidity and potentially restructure its balance sheet," per Variety, including a Chapter 11 filing in the US. Its market value is about $69 million. Filing an insolvency proceeding in the UK also is on the table, per the Wall Street Journal. "Cineworld is in discussions with many of its major stakeholders including its secured lenders," a company statement said. Part of the debt burdening Cineworld is a $1 billion recent judgment against it over a merger that broke down with Cineplex, a Canadian chain. Cineworld has appealed. The company's shares plunged up to 80% on Friday in the UK, per CNN, and 20% more on Monday. Shares in AMC, the only theater chain bigger than Cineworld, also fell. (Read more movie theaters stories.)

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