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Field of Terror is open again this year, but with stringent guidelines for visitors and staff due to COVID-19. Asbury Park Press

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Regal Theatres will temporarily close its movie cinemas on Thursday, including all 11 in New Jersey, as moviemakers put off the release of big Hollywood blockbusters because of COVID-19.

Cineworld Group, owner of 536 Regal movie houses  in the United States, said it is "temporarily suspending operations."

"As major US. markets, mainly New York, remained closed and without guidance on reopening timing, studios have been reluctant to release their pipeline of new films," the company said in a statement.

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"In turn, without these new releases, Cineworld cannot provide customers in both the US and the UK — the company's primary markets — with the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theatres against the backdrop of COVID-19."

In New Jersey, Regal has theaters in Stafford, Burlington, Turnersville, South Plainfield, Hamilton Township, Moorestown, Sewell, North Brunswick, Vineland, Mays Landing and Phillipsburg.

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Cineworld said it will "continue to monitor the situation closely."

Movie theaters just reopened last month after they were shuttered in mid-March by Gov. Murphy to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

"This is not a decision we made lightly, and we did everything in our power to support safe and sustainable reopenings in all of our markets — including meeting, and often exceeding, local health and safety guidelines in our theatres and working constructively with regulators and industry bodies to restore public confidence in our industry," said Mooky Greidinger, chief executive officer of Cineworld, in a statement.

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David P. Willis, an award-winning business writer, has covered business and consumer news at the Asbury Park Press for more than 20 years. He writes APP.com's What's Going There and Press on Your Side columns and can be reached at dwillis@gannettnj.com. Join his What's Going There page on Facebook for updates.

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