The lights go out in a popular cinema. Flix Brewhouse, a small cinema chain that operates nine locations in Texas, Arizona, and the Midwest, is closing indefinitely due to the pandemic.
The company’s Austin cinema is located at 2200 S. Interstate 35 Ste. The B1 in Round Rock will be closed along with locations in San Antonio, Frisco and El Paso.
In a letter to CultureMap, Allan Reagan, CEO of Flix Brewhouse, cited the third wave of COVID-19 cases currently gripping the country.
“Unfortunately, the negative impact of this third major surge on movie theater frequency and worldwide availability of debut films, coupled with the lack of coronavirus relief, are currently insurmountable obstacles for hard-hit businesses like independent cinemas,” says Reagan. “Having to close the doors again is absolutely heartbreaking.”
The company also applauded the governors of Wisconsin and Iowa for donating a portion of their state’s CARES Act funding to theaters to fight the pandemic. Flix Brewhouse has locations in Milwaukee and Des Moines.
Flix also called on Congress to “put in place significant bipartisan coronavirus aid to help independent cinema circles, live entertainment venues, restaurants and other institutions that are an integral part of American culture survive the pandemic.”
With film studios largely delaying the release of big blockbusters until next year and with no uniform health and safety regulations, cinemas are just one of the many industries struggling to survive. Over the past few weeks, mega-chains like Regal, AMC, and Cinemark have reported third-quarter losses, while smaller companies like Alamo Drafthouse have launched promotions like full theater rentals to raise funds. On-site, independent cinemas like Violet Crown Cinema and Austin Film Society haven’t reopened since first closing in March.
Despite the current grim reality, Reagan remains optimistic that Flix Brewhouse will return.
“Effective and safe vaccine candidates, improved therapies for the sick, and a renewed government focus on fighting the pandemic are hopeful indicators that America will be able to bring this virus under much better control over the long term,” said Reagan. “And when that time comes, there will be a huge number of incredible films that can be released.”