Cinemark to close 1,200 jobs in wake of movie theaters shooting

NEW YORK (AP) Cinemark said Wednesday it will close 1 in 20 of its 2,000-plus movie theater locations across the U.S. and Canada after it learned of the shooting deaths of four people at the company’s Sunset Water Bill Cinemark location in California on Wednesday.

The move will cost the company more than $300 million.

The company said it is still investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

“Cinemark sincerely apologizes for the loss of life that this tragic event has touched and will do everything in our power to ensure that the safety of our employees and our guests is not compromised,” Cinemark Chief Executive James J. Vassallo said in a statement.

The shooting occurred at 9:19 p.m. in the lobby of the Sunset Water Bills movie theater.

The shootings happened after a gunman, later identified as 27-year-old Daniel DeJesus, opened fire inside the theater, killing three people and wounding five.

DeJesus had reportedly been in the theater for about three hours when the shooting began.

DeJesus reportedly told police he was angry that people were not coming to his movie theater to see his movie.

The other victims were all women.

The gunman was killed in the shooting, which was captured on video by a security guard.

In a statement, Cinemark President and CEO Jim Vassale said the company is working to find ways to help families of the victims and to provide “a dignified, respectful, and safe environment for everyone.”

He said he was committed to “building a community that is resilient and safe.”

Vassalise said the “long-term plan” to address the “horrific events that have occurred” at the movie theater is to have its employees return to work in the immediate aftermath of the shootings.

He said Cinemark will have no further comment until all investigations have concluded.

The U.K.-based company said Wednesday that it will shutter its Sunset Water bill theater, which closed in May.

It also said it will cancel the remaining 1,300 movie theater jobs at its U.A.E. and U.P. locations.

The San Diego-based company, which opened its first U.O. in 2011, is based in Austin, Texas.

Cinemark also said Wednesday in a news release that it is closing its Upland, Calif.-based locations.

“At this time, we are not making any announcements about the other Uplands that will remain open for the foreseeable future,” the company said.

A total of 2,600 employees will lose their jobs at the two locations.

In addition to the Sunset water bills, Cinemarks owns three other locations in the U of A. In the UP, the company plans to shutter two locations in October and a third in 2019.

Cinemarks said the closure will allow it to “reorganize our business, reduce our capital expenditures and reinvest in the company.”

The company’s total annual revenues are about $1.8 billion.

The Associated Press is not naming the company or the victims of the incidents because of their deaths.

(This story has been updated to include a statement from Cinemark.)