The Regal Bel Air movie theater in Abingdon closed at the end of business on Thursday.
The closure was announced on Regal’s movie listings website. The company referred patrons to its nearest theater, Regal Hunt Valley.
Regal’s Columbia location, Regal UA Snowden Square, is closing Wednesday but will reportedly reopen in August under new ownership.
No notification was reported to the state Department of Labor on the closures. No employee information is available.
Samuel Nelson, an employee at the Abingdon theater, said the closure is a loss to Harford County.
“It’s very sad that the theater has been in operation since 1997. ...There are a lot of great memories here, a lot of great people that work there,” Nelson said.
Nelson said employees were notified of the closure Saturday and notices went out to the public Sunday.
This is the third round of closures in the past year for the national movie theater chain. Regal’s parent company, Cineworld Group PLC, filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2022 and closed 12 Regal locations out of more than 500 Regal Cinemas nationwide.
In January, Cineworld announced another 39 Regal Cinemas were closing, including locations in Rockville, Bowie and Washington, D.C. The Harford County and Columbia theaters were not on that list.
But starting Thursday, the company will close an additional 14 theaters, including the two in Maryland, as well as Regal Cinemas in California, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Kansas, New York, Oregon and Pennsylvania. The closures come as part of Cineworld’s reorganization plan. The company said it expects to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy this month.
Cineworld, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom, bought Regal Entertainment Group in December 2017. The acquisition created the world’s second-largest movie theater chain, according to Cineworld.
“We believe this partnership with Cineworld will enhance Regal’s ability to deliver a premium movie-going experience,” then-CEO of Regal Entertainment Group, Amy Miles, said at the time.
However, several Harford County moviegoers who have gone to Regal Bel Air recently commented on Facebook that the Abingdon theater was outdated and overpriced. Some lamented the loss of the movie theater, recounting memories of watching movies there as a youth. Others mentioned other movie chains, including discount movie chain Horizon Cinemas, which has theaters in Aberdeen and Fallston, as a better value.
Representatives for Cineworld could not be reached for comment.
The Baltimore Sun reporter Jordan Brown also contributed to this article.