New York City’s movie theaters are fighting to keep the lights on.
NATO of New York State, a trade group representing theater owners, sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in an effort to urge the administration to greenlight the openings of cinemas in the city as the holiday season approaches, Deadline reported.
It’s been over two weeks since movie theaters were allowed to reopen in the rest of the state, but the five boroughs remain shut out. In its letter, NATO stressed that movie theaters have operated safely and would do the same in the city.
“After Disney pulled their two movies, we are trying to do whatever we can to save the Christmas release schedule,” Joe Masher, CEO of Bowtie Cinemas and president of NATO NY, told Deadline, referring to Free Guy and Death on the Nile, which have been pulled off the release schedule. A handful of big releases that were scheduled for 2020 — including Wonder Woman 1984 and No Time to Die, the latest James Bond film — have been pushed back.
Those delays have hurt struggling movie theaters throughout the country, as have Covid-related lockdowns. According to Datex’s latest retail rent collection report, cinema chains paid just 38 percent of rent last month.
Deadline also reported that Regal Cinemas will shutter the 18 locations the chain left open in New York and California effective Thursday. Those sites will stay closed until further notice.
[Deadline] — Sasha Jones