The Cineworld theater chain is exploring the possibility of entering a form of insolvency in the U.K. that would see it close some of its locations permanently.
The Cineworld Group is the second-largest theater chain in the world and as with all theaters, it is not having an easy time during the pandemic. The company announced in Oct. that it was temporarily closing the majority of its locations until such time as there were more movies to show. Since that time some have re-opened due to new local rules in various parts of the country only to be shut down again as the situation changes.
Now it seems that all of these issues are catching up with the company as it is exploring entering “company voluntary arrangement” (CVA), a form of insolvency in the U.K.
The company apparently currently has £6.2 billion (approx. $8.2 billion USD) in debt on its books. In Oct., the company hired AlixPartners to assist with debt restructuring and to manage negotiations with landlords about reducing rent. Cineworld is already in court with AEW over a claim of £308,000 ($408,000) in unpaid rent.
There are discussions that some Cineworld locations in the U.K. may need to be closed permanently as part of the insolvency plan.
In the United States, Cineworld operates under the name Regal Cinemas. There is no word as of yet if any of the U.S. based locations are on the list for potential closures.