Major movie theater chains, including AMC Cinemas and Regal Cinemas, have closed multiplexes in the Florida panhandle and southern Georgia due to Hurricane Michael battering the states, leaving thousands without power.
Hurricane Michael, the third-most-powerful storm to ever hit the U.S. mainland, made landfall early Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 hurricane near Mexico Beach in Florida. The storm created massive waves and widespread damage in Panama City along the Gulf of Mexico coastline.
By mid-afternoon, the storm had been downgraded to Category 3 as it moved into southern Georgia with sustained winds of 125 mph. It was moving north-northeast at 16 mph, the National Hurricane Center reported.
AMC’s website for multiplexes in Panama City, Fla.; Tallahassee, Fla.; and Columbus, Ga., said, “We apologize for the inconvenience, but this theater is temporarily closed due to Hurricane Michael. We hope to reopen again soon, so please check back.”
An AMC spokesman at least 20 AMC multiplexes in Florida and Georgia were closed on Tuesday and Wednesday and that several could remain shuttered on Thursday. Regal’s cineplexes in Panama City and Tallahassee were also closed Wednesday.
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore, said, “As with any major storm event, the safety of patrons is of the utmost concern and with travel and access restricted, movie theaters in the area will certainly be affected in the near term as they deal with Hurricane Michael.”