March 16, 2020 / 10:14 PM / 21 days ago

AMC joins Cineplex, Cineworld in closing theaters amid virus outbreak

(Reuters) - AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc said on Tuesday that it would temporarily shut its theaters in a bid to contain the coronavirus spread, joining other major chains Cineplex Inc and Cineworld Group.

AMC said all of its theaters in the United States will close for at least six to 12 weeks beginning March 17.

The fast-spreading virus has also forced Regal Cinemas, operated by UK’s Cineworld, to temporarily close all of its more than 500 theaters in the United States.

Cineplex also announced on Monday that it would shut its theaters across Canada from March 16 to April 2 and warned that the possibility of prolonged closures could hurt its ability to satisfy debt conditions required for a merger deal with Cineworld.

Cineworld said last week that it could fail to meet its debt commitments in a worst-case coronavirus scenario, though it plans to press ahead with its $1.65 billion takeover of Cineplex.

Both companies are planning to move ahead with the deal and are working to meet the required conditions on or prior to June 30, Cineplex said.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu and Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M. And Anil D'Silva

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