Cinemas are coming back to the Big Apple.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced that all movie theaters in the state – including New York – can reopen from March 5. COVID-19 capacity and security measures.
The rules for reopening city cinemas include:
- Rooms are limited to 25% of their capacity, with no more than 50 people per screen at a time.
- Masks will be required except when you are seated and eating or drinking.
- Assigned seats will be required.
- Social distancing will be required at all times.
- Additional staff will be needed to control occupancy, traffic and seating.
- Improved standards for filtration, ventilation and air purification must be met.
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Cuomo has been pushing to start easing COVID-19 restrictions on businesses this year in hopes of reviving an economy hit by declining sales tax revenue.
After the holidays, the state withstood a spike in cases, hospitalizations and deaths in mid-January.
Cases and hospitalizations are now declining statewide, but parts of New York City, particularly the Bronx, are still seeing high rates of infection and a slower drop in hospitalizations.
Cuomo’s move has drawn praise from theater owners who have been pushing the governor to ease restrictions for months and are hoping Cuomo will soon increase capacity to 50 percent.
“New York is a major market for filming in the United States,” said Patrick Corcoran, a spokesperson for the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO). “The reopening there gives confidence to film distributors in setting and sticking to their theatrical release dates, and is an important step in the recovery of the entire industry.”
According to NATO, New York City accounts for around 5% of the national box office. Theaters in the nation’s other largest film market, Los Angeles, are still closed with no known plans to reopen.
Monday’s announcement is good news for beleaguered theater owners, after domestic ticket sales fell to nearly 40-year lows last year due to the pandemic. While smaller films continue to open in theaters where available, the next major theatrical release on the calendar is Disney / Marvel’s “Black Widow” on May 7, just over a year after its originally scheduled release. last May.
Contributor: Associated Press, Patrick Ryan
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