The decision came as governors of a dozen states announced closures of movie theaters on Sunday and Monday, and as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued strict guidelines limiting public gatherings.
AMC, the nation’s largest theater circuit, had sought to remain open by limiting theaters to 50% capacity. But on Monday, the CDC cut the recommended limit on gatherings to just 10 people.
“We are ever so disappointed for our moviegoing guests and for our employee teams that the new CDC guidelines that Americans should not gather in groups larger than 10 people make it impossible to open our theatres,” CEO Adam Aron said in a statement. “Still, the health and wellbeing of AMC guests and employees, and of all Americans, takes precedence above all else. We will continue to monitor this situation very closely and look forward to the day we can again delight moviegoers nationwide by reopening AMC movie theatres in accordance with guidance from the CDC and local health authorities.”
AMC said the closure would go into effect on Tuesday. The company said it would remain “remain flexible on reopening, in accordance with CDC recommendations and governmental directives.”
AMC operates 634 locations in the U.S. and Canada.
The chain said it would pause A-List subscriptions, with no billing or payments for the duration of the closure.
Regal Cinemas, the second largest theater chain, announced earlier on Monday that it, too, would be closing “until further notice.”
Cineplex, the largest circuit in Canada and fourth-largest in North America, announced that it would be closing its 165 locations on Monday, and they would remain closed through April 2.
Alamo Drafthouse and Landmark Theatres also closed on Monday.
A dozen states — New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Colorado, Louisiana, Washington, and Massachusetts — announced they would close theaters in the last 24 hours. Los Angeles County and Washington, D.C., also closed theaters. Many of the same states also closed restaurants for dine-in service, but allowed take-out and delivery to continue.