June 30, 2020 / 1:34 AM / 9 days ago

Los Angeles delays movie theater reopenings after rise in coronavirus cases

An empty Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday announced he was taking a “hard pause” on when movie theaters in the city can reopen, citing an increase in coronavirus cases.

Los Angeles County is the biggest movie theater market in the United States.

“We have hit a hard pause on opening any more businesses such as movie theaters, bowling alleys, playgrounds, concert halls, theme parks or other entertainment venues,” Garcetti said at a news briefing.

He did not give a date for when movie theaters in Los Angeles might be given the green light to reopen.

The theater business has been devastated by the coronavirus shutdowns that began in mid-March, laying off tens of thousands of employees and borrowing funds to stay afloat.

On Monday AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc, the nation’s biggest movie theater chain, said it had delayed the reopening of its venues in the United States by two weeks to July 30.

Garcetti said the rise in coronavirus cases in Los Angeles in the last few days meant that it was “time for a collective course correction.”

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Sandra Maler

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