(WIVB)–All 536 Regal theaters across the nation and the 127 theaters in the UK will close their doors until further notice, starting Thursday.

Regal Cinema made the announcement to the general public via Twitter on Monday. Regal’s parent company Cineworld said in a statement online, that the closure is temporary and it’s because major markets, like New York State, remain closed.

“I’m not shocked at all,” said Tim Clark, Buffalo Niagara Film Commissioner. “I think it’s just been an awful year for the movie theaters and when movie theaters aren’t open in New York state or California,those are two huge markets. For the bigger studios so it makes no sense at all to release movies if the big states aren’t open yet.”

Locally filmed movies are no exception. 

“I think there’s pressure also from the big movie studios, because they pulled so many of their releases, for instance A Quiet Place 2 was pushed back to April of 2021, so it’s quite a hardship for everyone,” he said.

Clark says, the outlook isn’t good for theaters both large and small, if they aren’t allowed to open soon. 

“I think it’s much more difficult for the smaller independent theaters that are really enduring six months of zero income, and it’s very very difficult,” he said.

Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.