Finally, exhibition gets a break in the Empire State.
During a press conference on Saturday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced movie theaters outside of New York City can reopen at 25 percent capacity or up to 50 people per screen on October 23rd. We also hear they can sell concessions. This is in effect for all counties with infection rates that are below 2%.
We’re waiting on word from NATO on this great seismic movement, but this is the first step in getting New York City, which can command as much as 10% of the national box office, reopened.
Indoor cinemas were initially in phase 4 however as New York improved through the COVID-19 tiers and handled its cases, Cuomo decided that movie theaters would not open given his questions about air conditioning circulation. The governor continued to reopen gyms and casinos, while sitting on theaters. This created plenty of ire among the major studios and exhibitors like Cineworld’s Mooky Greidinger, who publically slammed the governor for choking movie theaters. Cineworld was forced to close its UK theaters, and a majority of its US Regal Cinemas due to the lack of major studio product and the fact that New York state and Los Angeles county remained closed.