Cinemark Theaters (and its subsidiary Century) is the third-largest cinema chain in the United States, with just shy of 350 locations around the country, as well as significant footholds in Taiwan and South America. Like all movie theaters in over a third of the world, the current COVID-19 crisis has forced closures and pay cuts, which have hit the company and its workers hard.

As of March 18, 2020, all of Cinemark’s U.S. theaters were closed in what the company called “a proactive measure in support of the health and safety of [our] employees, guests, and communities.”

The closures required thousands of theater employees to be laid off or furloughed with only a few days of notice.

“Currently, our theaters across the globe are closed, and it is uncertain when they will be able to re-open. We are not generating any revenue while theaters are closed, yet still must meet financial and contractual obligations,” said CEO Mark Zoradi in an email to all corporate staff on Monday, March 30.

“Cinemark’s priority as it navigates through this uncertainty is to ensure that the company will be able to once again open theaters and employ our global team members,” Zoradi continued. “I look forward to the day in the hopefully not-too-distant future when the Cinemark team can once again welcome guests to enjoy the immersive moviegoing experience we offer at our theaters.”

In a separate statement, Zoradi announced that all Cinemark corporate employees would be making sacrifices. He and the other board members are forgoing their salaries entirely, while other top executives are taking steep pay cuts. Others would be working reduced hours and have their salaries cut to match. The trade-off is that all corporate employees would be able to keep full benefits.

The pay cuts, while hard to take for many of the corporate staff who were not involved with the decision, are an attempt to retain as much of the staff as possible through the crisis. Cinemark, while lagging slightly behind rivals Regal and AMC in market share, is in significantly less debt and hopes that these measures will be enough to keep the company stable through this time of closure.

Photo by Joshua Rainey Photography /