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Monday, June 10, 2024

Regal Cinema 5, one of three movie theaters in Davis, closes its doors

Earlier this month, the Regal location on G Street unexpectedly closed

 

By HANNAH SCHRADER city@theaggie.org

Lea este artículo en español.

 

The Regal Cinema 5 at 420 G St. closed on May 4 with little notice to patrons. Regal announced the closing of the theater on their website, and a note was left on the door.

“Thank you! It has been our pleasure to serve you at this theater. Regal Davis is now closed,” the note read. “We invite you to visit Regal Davis Holiday or any of our other area locations.” 

The now unoccupied building is left vacant with no update on what is going to replace the Regal 5. According to Eric Lee, the senior planner at the Davis Department of Community Development and Sustainability, it was confirmed the department does not have any application or request related to this site at the time. 

Regal 5 is one of three movie theaters in Davis, and since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had lasting effects on all locations. During the pandemic, the city of Davis offered financial assistance, but this predominantly went to small businesses that were most in threat of closure. Davis Varsity Theatre received assistance from the city and residents of Davis alike during the pandemic, but due to the larger scale of operations of Regal Cinemas, the Regal theaters did not.

One of the managers at Varsity Theatre, Whitney Martinez, talked about the effects of the recent closure on the business.

“So we’re definitely slowly getting back to where we were; we’re not quite there yet,” Martinez said. “But the city was super helpful while we were shut down in making sure that we were ready to reopen safely when possible. We’re just slowly trying to build back that customer base to make sure people feel comfortable coming in.”

Martinez said that Varsity Theatre has not yet seen an increase in customers since the closing of the Regal Theater. But Martinez stated that due to the closure, Varsity will be showing the latest “Fast and Furious” movie, which is a larger-budget film that the location normally wouldn’t feature.

“[‘Fast and Furious’ is] normally something we wouldn’t play, but with Regal being closed, we figured we would scoop it up and see what business we could get out of it,” Martinez said.

Martinez also talked about future procedures being considered to maintain business in uncertain times for movie theaters at large.

“I feel like we’re lucky here with the community that we have,” Martinez said. “We have our core supporters of customers that come in. People feel comfortable in there. You’re not forced to sit next to anyone, […] so that we feel as comfortable as possible so we can get back to where we were before COVID.”

Regal closed down all of their theaters for a period of four months during the pandemic. Despite having re-opened quickly though, they have still struggled financially, leading to the closure of 39 theaters since the start of 2023.

With this trend, Regal Unlimited Subscription Program members are uncertain about the future of their memberships. The Regal Unlimited Subscription is the member program Regal offers for anywhere from $227.88 to $287.88 a year, contingent on how many locations members wish to access. For this fee, members can see unlimited movies at Regal locations.

Regal does not offer refunds on their unlimited subscription program, which has an annual fee, so if a customer were to cancel, they would still be required to pay for the time period originally agreed upon when the subscription was purchased.

Now, Davis residents still have a few movie theater options; The Regal Davis Holiday located at 101 F St. as well as the Davis Varsity Theatre located at 616 2nd St. are still open for operation.

 

Written by: Hannah Schrader  city@theaggie.org