After having been closed for nearly a year, cinemas in New York City are looking forward to reopening box offices and welcoming movie fans into theaters as early as March 15th.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that cinemas in the five boroughs of New York City have been given the greenlight to resume operation, with strict COVID protocols in place, including mandatory mask-wearing for all audience members. Theaters will have limited capacity set at 25%, or a total of 50 movie-goers, whichever number is lower.
This news comes hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to begin lifting lockdown restrictions across the United Kingdom. Among school reopenings and the resumption some sports activities, Johnson said the U.K. can expect to see cinemas reopen as early as May 17th, with social distancing protocols enforced.
While this is encouraging news for struggling cinema owners and movie fans alike, not all theaters will have the capability to reopen so soon. With limited capacity greatly impacting ticket sales, not to mention whether cinemas plan to offer concessions due to mandatory mask-wearing, theaters will have to look at operating costs against estimated revenue to determine the viability of reopening. Some chains and independent cinemas may opt to wait for less restrictive capacity rules before reopening their doors.
Stay tuned as this story develops.