Regal Cinemas Closing Tikahtnu Stadium 16
The parent company of Regal Cinemas, Cineworld, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September. In a new filing last week, the company announced it would reject its leases starting February 15. Cineworld expects that walking away from the leases would help save about $22 million in annual cashflow.
The filing states, “The debtors are hopeful that these negotiations will lead to lease concessions and modifications that will obviate the need for rejection and enable additional theater sites to remain open.”
Regal Cinemas also operates a nine-screen movie theater in the Dimond Center and the Regal Totem as a second-run discount theater. In Fairbanks, the Regal Goldstream also has an IMAX screen.
The movie theater at the Tikahtnu Commons shopping center is the largest in Alaska. It has been an anchor tenant of the center, which opened in 2008 as a partnership of Cook Inlet Region, Inc. and Browman Development Company of Walnut Creek, California.
The shopping center retains Target, Lowe’s, Kohl’s, and Best Buy as anchor tenants, and Costco announced plans last year to convert the vacant Sam’s Club location into a Business Center, which caters to small businesses but is also open to all member customers.
The reason for Cineworld’s bankruptcy appears to be a continuing slump in theater attendance since COVD-19 forced shutdowns in 2020. According to Comscore, the North American box office for 2022 totaled $7.4 billion, down from more than $11 billion in 2018 and 2019.
The announced closures affect multiplexes with as many as twenty-four screens and as few as seven, in large cities and suburbs from coast to coast. The Tikahtnu Stadium 16 is the only closure announced for Alaska.