The Regal strikes back, could re-open this spring

File photo

By Eric Gorton, Contributor

Amid the gloom of winter, a glimmer of light for Harrisonburg moviegoers: Regal Cinemas plans to reopen at its current location this spring.

A few details about the opening were discussed Feb. 11 in a fourth-quarter earnings call for Armada Hoffler Properties, Inc., the Virginia Beach-based real estate trust that owns the 10-acre property.

In that call, first reported by the The Virginian-Pilot, Lou Haddad, president and CEO of Armada Hoffler, said Regal has already started paying rent again. “It’s going to be a ramped lease. Obviously, giving them some time to get fully open, hopefully, in the spring,” Haddad told investors.

Haddad also said, “the biggest part of that negotiation . . . (is) being able to take five of those acres and turn it into a high-quality multifamily asset and sharing parking with the Regal.”

Officials with Nashville-based Regal did not respond to an interview request by press time. A call to the phone number listed for the local theater refers callers to the corporate website.

Officials with Armada Hoffler also could not be reached by press time.

In October, Armada Hoffler announced it had reclaimed the Regal Cinema property following Regal’s default on the lease and planned to redevelop the site with apartments, restaurants and retail establishments.

In the same announcement, the real estate trust stated that it had also reclaimed a Regal Cinema property in Virginia Beach. A new lease agreement has since been reached with that theater for the rest of the 2021 calendar year. Regal will start paying that lease this spring.

Hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Regal’s parent company, Cineworld, announced Oct. 5 that it was temporarily suspending operations at all of its 536 Regal theaters in the U.S. as of Oct. 8.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported in January that Regal is looking to restaff its theaters and had placed job ads nationwide in advance of the movie industry restarting.

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