While the Covid Pandemic deeply impacted many industries, the theater chains of the world in particular, felt it down to their cores.
Cineworld filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this past September. Since that time the company, which operates Regal Cinemas in the U.S., has closed 23 locations and is in negotiations with 25% of its landlords to reduce costs at other theaters.
The company went before Judge Marvin Isgur the Southern District of Texas this week, and he was less than impressed with the company’s progress. “We are not going to stick around forever. The debtors need to be aggressive. I am not sitting here for a year, or for six months, to figure out what shops are closing. That is a process that is going to happen now,” said Isgur according to Deadline.
“I have been very patient in this case [but] I want to see more action in terms of what this future company is going to look like. … We need to move on with life,” Isgur added.
Josh Sussberg of Kirkland & Ellis, representing Cineworld, told the court that negotiations for “the rest of the portfolio are well underway.” The company also stressed that landlords that don’t come forward, however, may face additional closures.
A potential sale of the company is also still on the table for discussion, but they have made it clear they are not in talks with AMC Entertmant, the largest theater chain in the world.
Isgur, despite his stern warnings, made it clear he understands the hurdles the entire industry is facing. “It looks like this industry, more than most, is in a state of major flux and [that] would have occurred at some point with or without Covid. And people need to figure out what is the future of the industry. Guesswork by very smart people who are good at guessing. And we are not going to be in a world of certainty in this case.”