Movie theaters in New York City can open on March 5 at 25% capacity as COVID-19 cases continue decline

 New York City movie theaters can open their doors again at limited capacity starting March 5, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

Movie theaters can only operate at 25% capacity, with no more than 50 people per screening, Cuomo said.

His announcement came nearly a year after he shuttered movie theaters statewide in mid-March last year along with concert venues and nightclubs as part of efforts to limit spread of COVID-19 in crowded, indoor settings.

Cuomo eased restrictions last fall to allow movie theaters to re-open at limited capacity in most counties outside of densely populated New York City.

Movie theaters in New York City are about to open for the first time in almost a year

Capacity for screenings will be limited to either 25 percent or 50 people

Capacity for screenings will be limited to either 25 percent or 50 people

The governor said theaters must require and enforce assigned seating, masks and social distancing. He said they also need to meet the state's air filtration standards.

Cuomo has pushed this year to start easing COVID-19 restrictions on businesses in hopes of jumpstarting an economy hit by a drop in sales tax revenue.


The state weathered a mid-January spike in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Cases and hospitalizations are now dropping overall statewide, but parts of New York City - particularly the Bronx - are still seeing high rates of infection and slower declines in hospitalization.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has also resumed outdoor dining in New York City

Governor Andrew Cuomo has also resumed outdoor dining in New York City

Cuomo's move drew praise from theater owners who have pushed for months for the governor to ease restrictions, and who hope Cuomo will soon expand capacity to 50%.

'New York City is a major market for moviegoing in the U.S.,' National Association of Theater Owners spokesperson Patrick Corcoran said. 

'Re-opening there gives confidence to film distributors in setting and holding their theatrical release dates, and is an important step in the recovery of the entire industry.'

Movie theaters in Los Angeles, another major market for the business, remain closed at this time. 

The opening of movie theaters is part of a larger economic reopening for New York City, which is also seeing the resumption of nursing home visits and indoor dining, the latter of which continued over Valentine's Day weekend.

In the coming days, the capacity for indoor dining is expected to increase to 35 percent.

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The movie theater industry has struggled massively through the coronavirus pandemic as indoor gatherings have been restricted across the globe.

Some movie studios have largely moved away from the theater industry, most notably Warner Bros., which is streaming all of their 2021 movies on HBO Max for 28 days simultaneous to a theater release, further harming ticket sales.

AMC did see a temporary jolt to their stock recently when the company was caught up in the Reddit trading bonanza.

Barron's reports AMC's stock rose 14.9 percent during late-afternoon trading after Cuomo's announcement and 9.6 percent in after-hours trading.

'Governor Cuomo's announcement that movie theatres can reopen in New York City in the first week of March is another important step towards restoring the health of the movie theatre industry and of our company,' AMC CEO Adam Aron said in a statement.

After a surge in cases during January, New York City cases have trended down this month

After a surge in cases during January, New York City cases have trended down this month

Nevertheless, New York City does still see upwards of 75 deaths on a daily basis

Nevertheless, New York City does still see upwards of 75 deaths on a daily basis


As vaccination rollouts continue across the city and more distance grows from the last major holidays, cases across New York City have seen a promising decline.

The seven-day average of new cases has remained below 5,000 people since February 4.

There were 4.735 new cases on February 19, higher than it had been in recent days, but still well below the surge the city saw in January.

Additionally, February 6 is the only day in all of 2021 that has seen more than 100 new deaths.

In total, there have been 700,581 cases of the coronavirus in New York City, with 28,888 confirmed deaths.

Movie theaters in New York City can open on March 5 at 25% capacity as COVID-19 cases continue decline Movie theaters in New York City can open on March 5 at 25% capacity as COVID-19 cases continue decline Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 08:54 Rating: 5

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