Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Britain's Cineworld Group announced Monday that it is closing hundreds of its Cineworld, Regal and Picturehouse movie theaters in the United States and United Kingdom.
"In response to an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape and sustained key market closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cineworld confirms that it will be temporarily suspending operations at all of its 536 Regal theaters in the U.S. and its 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theaters in the U.K. from Thursday, 8 October 2020," the company said in a statement.
An estimated 45,000 employees will be impacted by the closures, Deadline.com reported.
It is unclear when the theaters might reopen.
The film exhibition industry has complained for months that it is struggling because film studios are not providing new content to attract moviegoers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many film release dates have been pushed into 2021, while others like Mulan and Greyhound skipped theatrical releases in some markets altogether, debuting instead on streaming services.
Regal is the second-largest theater chain in the United States after AMC.
Cineworld is the biggest cinema operator in Great Britain.