Florida Cinemas Shuttering As Hurricane Idalia Approaches

Several multiplexes in Florida are seeing their final shows tonight before Hurricane Idalia hits the state in what’s expected to be a Category 3 storm with surges of 15 feet on the Gulf Coast side.

Deadline hears that at least 24 cinemas are closing in Florida tonight, including but not limited to AMC locations in Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and Orange Park and Regal sites in Ocala, Pinellas Place and Gainesville. Many are looking to reopen safely on Thursday ahead of Labor Day weekend, during which Sony’s The Equalizer 3 is set to make $30M-$40M over four days.

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The hurricane currently is a Category 2 and about 300 miles south of Tallahassee with maximum sustained winds up at 100 mph. Many locations in southern Florida have measured wind gusts between 40-50 mph.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster already has declared a state of emergency in his state ahead of the hurricane’s arrival.

CNN reports that the Pentagon is at the ready with 3,000 National Guardsmen mobilized ahead of Hurricane Idalia. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that he activated 5,500 National Guard members to assist with recovery efforts.

Fort Myers Beach, which is on the Gulf side of Florida, still is recovering from last September’s devastation from Hurricane Ian. Local officials are greatly concerned about the Sanibel Causeway, which collapsed during that Cat 5 storm and remains under construction.

Cuba reportedly saw 4 inches of rain on Sunday, with Idalia hitting the westernmost part of the country the worst, causing flooding in Havana and several power outages. There also were downed trees, damaged buildings and flooded homes.

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