ArcLight Chain Shuts Down in Sign Theaters Aren’t Out of Trouble

ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres, two California movie-theater chains that are part of the same company, announced plans to close permanently, underscoring the still-tenuous state of the industry.

The move follows a yearlong hiatus during the coronavirus pandemic. The company, known for its reserved seating and eschewing ads before screenings, said Monday that it won’t be reopening its doors. The chain’s locations include the Cinerama Dome, a Hollywood landmark that opened in 1963.

“Despite a huge effort that exhausted all potential options, the company does not have a viable way forward,” it said in an emailed statement.

The chains together had 17 locations and 234 screens across California, as well as Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C. as of 2019, according to Boxoffice Pro. Like many theaters, they struggled under the weight of the pandemic, which forced cinemas across the world to close and studios to delay the release of new films.

The industry has seen cause for optimism in recent weeks, with “Godzilla vs. Kong” becoming the biggest hit since the pandemic began. But theaters remain under tremendous pressure, with capacity limits and an uncertain supply of blockbuster films making it harder to break even.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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