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Regal Cinemas is the second- largest theater chain in the United States. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Regal operates 760 theaters as of September 2019. The three main theatre brands operated by Regal Entertainment Group (REG) are Regal Cinemas, Edwards Theatres, and United Artists Theatres.
Regal Cinemas, established in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1989, gave a new and upscale look to movie theaters. With Mike Campbell as CEO, the chain of theaters grew rapidly, with many of them containing a café which became known as Cafe Del Moro.
Throughout the 1990s, Regal Cinemas acquired ACT III Theaters and other smaller chains, as well as building modern multiplexes.
In 2001, Regal merged with the
Edwards and United Artists movie theater chains.
In 2010, after an absence of several years, the famous Regal Roller Coaster policy trailer returned to the movie screen before every movie. In 2015, The Tombras Group recreated it as an animated version.
In 2002, investor Philip Anschutz bought investments in the three merged theater chains, making him the majority owner. He then consolidated his three theater holdings under the parent name, Regal Entertainment Group (REG).
Since the 2002 formation of REG, it has acquired several smaller chains and rebranded to Regal Cinemas. In April 2005, Regal acquired the Eastern Federal Theatre Company in the Southeastern United States.
In 2007, REG opened its first all digital projection theatre
in Henderson, Nevada.
In 2009, Regal signed a deal with Sony Corporation to equip all of its theaters with Sony 4K digital projection.
The chain continued to expand with the purchase of Hollywood Theaters in 2013, and the Warren Theaters in 2017 (the latter continues to operate under the Warren name).
In December 2015, Regal took over managing operations of Cinebarre, a former joint venture between Regal Entertainment Group and Terrell Braly. There are eight Cinebarre locations in the Regal Entertainment Group circuit, all of which offer a full bar and a made from scratch restaurant menu which is delivered right to the customer’s seat.
Regal sells to Cineworld Group
In 2017, British exhibitor Cineworld Group bought Regal Entertainment Group in a deal valuing Regal at $3.6 billion, instantly putting Cineworld into direct competition with AMC Entertainment.
Theater chains continue to merge together as they face growing competition from at-home streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and HBO, to name just a few.
In an effort to motivate more viewers to come to the theaters, Regal and other movie theater chains have been investing in viewers’ comfort by installing recliner seating, gourmet food and alcohol.
In 2018, in honour of the University of Tennessee (Regal’s Knoxville heritage), the chain adopted a new logo featuring an emblem resembling a camera aperture and crown and colored in orange.
On July 29, 2019, Regal officially announced the Regal Unlimited subscription plan which offers customers the opportunity to watch as many movies as they want, as many times as they want, whenever they want, at any of the Regal theaters. The plan also lets subscribers buy advance tickets as soon as they go on sale, enjoy 10% off all food and non-alcoholic beverages in theatre and earn Regal Crown Club® credits when using their Regal Unlimited™ subscription. And, if that’s not enough, they get free popcorn on their birthday and 10 percent off all food and non-alcoholic purchases.
Since its inauguration in 2003, the Regal Foundation has held Stars of Hope, a large in-theater donation drive during the summer months of every year. Patrons can donate $1 to the Regal Foundation and donors names are written on individual stars and posted on a wall of fame. The funds collected go to other organizations, golf tournaments and the University of Tennessee.
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