Regal Cinema Closes the Curtains

Lincolnshire’s Regal Cinema closed after 24 years.


The BigScreen Cinema Guide

On Jan. 26, the Regal Cinema at Lincolnshire played its final movie. The theater shut its doors because of low profits attributed to the pandemic and the increased availability of streaming services.

According to CNN, about 40 Regals across the US have been listed to close as of 2023; however, the Lincolnshire location was not on the list. But after 25 years in operation, the movie theater ultimately filed for bankruptcy and the common hotspot for students closed down.

“They declared bankruptcy over a year ago, so [the closing] was something that was probably going to happen eventually,” former employee Rithvik Sripati ’24 said. “It was very expected.”

While employees were aware that the theater would eventually close, none of them expected the news to be confirmed only a week and a half before the cinema officially closed. To regular visitors like Sharayu Dharrao ’25, the closing came as a shock.

“Regal was my friends’ and my favorite place to go to watch new movies coming out, especially because of the locations nearby,” Dharrao said. “We would always go hang out at Liquid Fusion or the mini golf nearby.”

When Regal Cinema first opened, the surrounding area had yet to be developed. According to Stevenson teacher and formal Regal employee Andrew Block, the cinema attracted more consumers and popularized the area, leading to the construction of more businesses.

“All the [businesses] around here would not be here without Regal,” Block said. “[The Regal Theater is what made] Lincolnshire [special].”

Regal’s popularity among the local community attracted students like Sripati to seek employment at the cinema. Many students would often interact with their peers at Regal after school.

“I knew a lot of the employees that worked there,” Dharrao said. “It was always nice to see a familiar face.”

While dedicated customers express disappointment by the movie theater’s closing, the event comes at a difficult time for the theater industry. According to Morning Consult, around 60 percent fewer people have been visiting theaters due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Block attributes Regal’s closing to both the pandemic and the increased accessibility of digital streaming services like Amazon Prime and Netflix.

“[I] don’t go to the movies as much [anymore],” Block said. “It’s just so much more convenient [to watch movies] at home.”

Although Regal is now closed, Sripati reflects on the positive impact the theater had on the surrounding community. Till the end he worked there with a load of memories he made.
“Regal was definitely popular because it was the only movie theater in [Lincolnshire],” Sripati said. “It was an enjoyable place to relax and chill [with friends].”