Hurricane Irene Forces Cinemas, Theaters to Close

Friday, 26 Aug 2011 07:02 PM

 

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LOS ANGELES - Hurricane Irene has yet to make landfall, but barring a weather miracle, it will put a serious crimp in movie, concert and play-going.

A handful of exhibitors have already announced plans to close multiplexes across the East Coast.

Most theaters are taking a wait-and-see approach, but AMC has started announcing plans to shutter theaters in Norfolk, Virginia; Baltimore, Maryland; and Washington, D.C. on Saturday. It will monitor the situation before deciding whether to close locations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

In addition, Clearview Cinemas announced Friday that all their theaters would be closed on Saturday and Sunday. The chain has over 30 locations spread out over New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Larger theater chains with a heavy East Coast presence such as Regal, and National Amusements have yet to make a public decision about any closure.

Of course, it isn't just a matter of what theaters will be closed. Further clouding the ticket sales forecast: A state of emergency has been declared across the East Coast in states such as Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and North Carolina.

It's safe to say that people will be more interested in stockpiling batteries and bottled water than in what's playing at the local IMAX.

On Broadway, all theaters will go dark on Saturday and Sunday. The Broadway League had insisted earlier in the day that theaters would stay open, but with evacuations taking place in lower Manhattan, that became untenable.

Music fans face category 2 style devastation to their weekend plans. A large number of concerts that were set to take place throughout the Eastern seaboard are being canceled or rescheduled. Among the acts impacted are Styx, Dave Matthews Band, Kenny Chesney and Pat Benatar, according to a report on Rolling Stone.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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