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Boise-area Edwards Cinemas to close again as Regal retrenches

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Cineworld Group, which owns the Regal Entertainment Group, will shut down all its US locations, according to the Wall Street Journal.

That impacts three area cinemas which operate under the Edwards brand: Edwards Boise Downtown, Edwards Boise at the Boise Spectrum and Edwards Nampa Gateway. Regal operates the most local screens with more than 40 auditoriums.

The theaters closed in March as the COVID-19 pandemic began impacting Idaho. They opened again in August, with a slate of second-run and older movies. Hollywood distributors shelved most movies for the year, and over the weekend MGM moved the James Bond film No Time to Die to next April, from a November opening date. Several other studios also decided to hold off on releasing movies, and just a few remain on the schedule for the rest of 2020 for now, including Wonder Woman 1984, currently slated for a Christmas day release.

“We are like a grocery shop that doesn’t have vegetables, fruit, meat,” Cineworld CEO Mooky Gredinger told the WSJ. “We cannot operate for a long time without a product.”

More than 45,000 employees across the US list Regal as their place of work. Cineworld did not say when the theaters would close. It says the closures are temporary.

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The Regal-owned cinemas anchor three prominent local developments: Boise Spectrum, Nampa Gateway, and Boise’s Bodo. The owners of Boise Spectrum note the theatre helps draw more than 100,000 people per month to the entertainment-focused shopping center in normal times.

The new owners of Bodo, Hendricks Commecial Properties, plan a large-scale revamp of the Bodo building that houses the Edwards location, with a new food hall and potential future changes to the theater space.

A few local theaters remain open. Overland Park Cinemas, which operated with second-run movies before the pandemic, opened in June. Village Cinemas at the Village at Meridian reopened in August.

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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