Parent of Regal Cinemas, founded 33 years ago in Knoxville, files for Chapter 11

The parent company of a movie theater chain founded 33 years ago in Knoxville has officially filed for bankruptcy.

The Wednesday action by Cineworld, the London-based parent company of Regal Cinemas, followed rumors of the action that started swirling last month after years of struggle for all movie theaters dealing with the closure impacts of the pandemic. It will be Regal’s second experience in Chapter 11 following a rapid expansion that resulted in a filing in 2001.

Regal, headquartered in Knoxville, has 505 theatres in 42 states along with American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Saipan. The company that was founded in 1989 by Mike Campbell was acquired in late 2017 by Cineworld.

The Chapter 11 filing will not immediately impact moviegoers, as the company says this will instead help them restructure their debt. Cineworld created a new website detailing what consumers need to know about the bankruptcy.

“This is a process which is specifically designed to allow us to continue operating our business and theatres as normal without interruption while we seek to strengthen our financial position,” Cineworld Chief Executive Officer Mooky Greidinger wrote in a statement. “We continue to welcome our guests to cinemas around the world, which will not change during the Chapter 11 cases, and expect that all membership programs, including Regal Unlimited and Regal Crown Club in the United States and Cineworld Unlimited, should continue as usual.”

At this time no changes in operation to movie theaters or theater closures have been announced.

Cineworld has publicized all documents filed in the Chapter 11 cases.

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