KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Regal Cinemas is bringing out the big monsters in their first weekend open since closing for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cineworld Group, the world’s second largest movie theater chain and parent company of Regal, announced March 23 that it will begin its phased reopening of movie theaters with a limited number of cinemas opening for “Godzilla vs. Kong” on Friday and going wider with “Mortal Kombat” on April 16. 

To find opening date for your local theater, visit

“We have long-awaited this moment when we can welcome audiences back to our Regal theatres and restore our essential role within the communities we serve,” Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger said. “With the health and safety of our customers, staff and communities as our top priority, we continue to take all the necessary precautions and abide by our CinemaSafe guidelines to confidently provide a safe and comfortable experience. With capacity restrictions expanding to 50% or more across most U.S. states, we will be able to operate profitably in our biggest markets.”

In the same release, Cineworld announced that all Warner Brothers theatrical releases will be shown exclusively in Regal Cinemas for the first 45 days of their release beginning in 2022.

“This is a great moment for us — the U.S. market represents 75% of our business — and soon will be followed with all our markets. We are great believers in the theatrical experience, which only a year ago (2019) generated $43 billion worldwide,” Greidinger summarized,  “We have no doubt that by offering our customers the highest level for watching a movie, Cineworld and Regal will continue to be – the best place to watch a movie.”

Regal was established in Knoxville in 1989 and is now home to the company’s headquarters. Regal operates one of the largest theater circuits in the United States, consisting of 7,076 screens in 536 theaters in 42 states along with the District of Columbia and Guam as of September 30, 2020.