Marcus to announce shutdown of theaters across the country

The marcus Majestic Cinema in Brookfield.

Last updated on March 18th, 2020 at 12:59 pm

The Marcus Corporation is planning to announce a country-wide shutdown of its movie theaters, less than 24 hours after the company said it would implement social distancing practices at its theaters.

Marcus Theaters, the Milwaukee-based company’s movie theater division, announced a temporary seating plan on Monday that reduces capacity in its movie theaters by 50% and creates space between moviegoers as a response to the coronavirus pandemic and requests from government officials to maintain social distancing to reduce the spread of the virus.

The company said the changes would go into effect as early as yesterday, but the full-scale plan would begin on Wednesday, March 18.

But in a webinar hosted by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce today, Marcus Corp. vice president of human resources John Murray said an announcement of a country-wide shutdown of its movie theaters would come in the next two days.

“As of today, which is about as far as we can go with any of this planning, most theaters nationally are being shut down and that will include us,” Murray said. “We will make an announcement in the next day or two that our theaters also will be shut down and that’s both for public safety – it’s hard to do social distancing in a movie theater. That’s also for the health of our associates so they don’t get exposed to a huge mass of people who are home going stir crazy from a quarantine.”

The Marcus Corp. has approximately 11,000 employees across 22 states, a majority of whom are paid hourly, Murray said. The company has 90 theaters, 20 hotels and two standalone restaurants.

A Marcus Corp. spokesperson did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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Brandon Anderegg
Brandon covers startups, technology, banking and finance. He previously worked as a general assignment and court reporter for The Freeman in Waukesha. Brandon graduated from UW-Milwaukee’s journalism, advertising and media studies program with an emphasis in journalism. He enjoys live music, playing guitar and loves to hacky sack.

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