There are few experiences more enjoyable than going to your local cinema during times when the weather is particularly poor. You can sit down in a nice, clean theater and relax for a few hours while rain falls outside. However, in some parts of America, the weather is about to get so bad that going to the movies definitely won't be an option this weekend. With Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 storm, about to make landfall on the United States, a large number of movie theaters have actually had to close down due to safety concerns.
According to a new report from The Hollywood Reporter, it seems that the imminent threat of Hurricane Matthew on the American Atlantic coast has forced numerous movie theaters in coastal cities to close down today. Major theater chains such as Regal and AMC have announced that the closures will commence on Thursday, and go on for as long as they have to in order to ensure safety of guests, as well as employees. These closures are incredibly widespread, starting in south Florida, and stretching hundreds of miles north through Georgia, and ending all the way up in South Carolina, meaning a very large number of theaters will ultimately be affected by the storm.
Many theaters chains have remained vocal in their hope to reopen these venues by Friday, but that will not happen unless the weather subsides in a major way. Under different circumstances, movie theaters often bank on inclement conditions to generate attendance. Rain has a tendency to hamper most outdoor activities, but it makes for perfect movie weather; however, this is simply not one of those instances. Numerous mandatory evacuation notices have already been issued for many coastal communities in the region, and nobody wants to gamble with the effects of a Category 4 hurricane.
It's unclear how drastically this high number of closures could potentially impact the overall weekend box office, but we can generally assume that ticket sails in the southeastern portion of the United States will be far lower than average. With two major releases hitting theaters this weekend in the form of Girl on the Train, and Birth of a Nation, there exists a very real possibility that Hurricane Matthew could seriously dampen their respective box office performances.
Of course, movie theaters are not the only entertainment venues that have been forced to close their doors in the face of Hurricane Matthew. In addition to multiplexes on the Atlantic coast, several music venues have had to cancel concerts for major artists, such as The Chainsmokers and Garth Brooks. Local governments have taken the looming threat of Matthew incredibly seriously, and they have repeatedly warned residents not to risk staying near the coast under any circumstances. Safety seems far more important than entertainment at this point.
CinemaBlend will bring you more relevant information pertaining to this situation as it develops. Stay tuned for more details, and make sure to stay safe this coming weekend!