By Marissa Perlman

SOUTH SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Business was buzzing at Delta Shores Friday evening with Regal Cinemas back open, but it’s going to be shortlived for shops and restaurants that were hoping to cash in on the rush.

Moviegoers were getting their last shows in on Friday night as employees prepare to close their doors amid a company-wide shutdown. The closures mean bad news for surrounding businesses as well.

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In Natomas, the lights are off and the popcorn machine is shut down as Regal Cinemas closes for now. The owner of Cheese Steaks next door to the theater says they just opened their doors a year ago. On top of business dropping from the pandemic, Regal shut down on Thursday night and foot traffic is already slow. Now they’re figuring out how to survive.

At I Love Teriyaki, in the same plaza, manager Delilah Yang says her business thrives on the Regal theater. These businesses call the Regal an “anchor property” driving customers to businesses that surround them.

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“When the theater was open it was pretty busy, sometimes it would take us 30 minutes to an hour to complete orders because it was that busy,” Yang said.

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Now she can serve up the few customers she has in 15 minutes or less. The restaurant has been open since quarantine, and business was just starting to ramp up again.

“Without the movies, people don’t usually come. It’s a little bit slower,” Yang said.

As the big box next door sits vacant, both owners worry about the trickle-down effect of what could happen if Regal shuts down for good.

At this point, businesses in the area say the foot traffic isn’t slow enough to shut them down — yet. But the Natomas and El Dorado Hills locations showed their last films Thursday night.

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Despite what their competition is doing, Cinemark and AMC theaters in the area have no plans to shut down their locations.

Marissa Perlman