I happen to know a person in the Southern Corporate Office for UATC. What they basically were told is that they are overbuilt, and underperforming.
I don't know about anywhere else, but in the Dallas area, theaters have multiplied like rabbits everywhere. There are just so dang many, there isnt enough patrons to go around. AMC's and Cinemarks rule around here. I always choose UA because they are the only ones with THX houses. And even with that statement, UA's newest theater, the MacArthur Marketplace, less than a year old, was built with SDDS ONLY! No THX. Needless to say, I went there just once.
Todays movie public wants stadium seating, flip-up arm rests and cup holders. I could care less. I want a well lit presentation, adjusted and calibrated THX sound, and no crying babies.
Obviously I am in the minority.
So...what UA is going to do is close down the theaters that they lease, not own. Then start looking at performance. If it's marginal, it gets cut. Such is business, I guess.