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Closing of Regal movie theater impacts Royal Palm Beach businesses

Indefinite closure of theater 'disappointing' to Papichulo Tacos co-owner
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Posted at 4:46 PM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 18:06:21-04

ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. — Regal Cinemas will indefinitely shut down hundreds of movie theaters around the country Thursday because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Royal Palm Beach, it was training day Wednesday at Papichulo Tacos on State Road 7. The restaurant was scheduled to open months ago.

"We were planning on opening in March of this year, and due to the pandemic, we put everything on pause," said Angelo Abbenante, the co-owner of Papichulo Tacos.

They delayed the opening until Oct. 19, getting the restaurant ready with more outdoor seating, and looking forward to opening near the Regal 18 movie theater.

However, now that theater will be closing indefinitely.

"Obviously it's a little disappointing, considering it's one of the things that attracted us to this area. But we think we are in a great area on 441 and the drive-by traffic. There's a lot of traffic in the area," Abbenante said.

There's also another restaurant next door, the original Mario the Baker.

"The movie theater has always been a good driver of business on certain blockbusters," said Kevin Puebla, the general manager of the restaurant.

Puebla said he's counting on loyal customers.

"We have an excellent local customer base and just loyal people. We've been in the area this location for 19 years in November. And we've seen people come in when they were 15 years old who now have kids of their own, and we've become a family tradition for a lot of people," Puebla said.