Movie theaters in some New York counties can reopen as of Oct. 23, with one big exception: For now, New York City theaters must remain closed.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday that cinemas in certain counties can resume their operations at 25 percent capacity, with a maximum of 50 people per screen, the New York Post reported.
If city dwellers want to watch movies on a big screen, they could travel to nearby Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties, which maintain low Covid infection rates and currently have no hot zones.
Along with New York City, movie theaters in 12 other counties, including Orange and Rockland, aren’t allowed to reopen yet.
Cinema chains have been ravaged by the coronavirus shutdown, and top movie theater chains blamed state officials for not allowing them to reopen, even as other facilities — including gyms and restaurants — have been able to welcome patrons back.
The crisis in movie theaters also affects the fate of shopping malls. As people were increasingly shopping online even before the pandemic, mall owners turned to movie theaters to bring back foot traffic to their facilities.
But the pandemic hit cinemas even harder than the retail sector, the Financial Times reported.
AMC, the largest movie theater chain, recently warned it could run out of cash by the end of the year, raising fears that more cinemas may be shut.