NEW YORK (WKBW) — 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.
NEW: Starting October 23, movie theaters outside of NYC can reopen at 25% capacity with up to 50 people per screen.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) October 17, 2020
There will be mandatory social distancing and other precautions. pic.twitter.com/QKmKvuyTy2
State guidance on the reopening of theaters includes the following conditions
- Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking.
- Assigned seating will be required in all theaters.
- Social distancing between parties will be required at all times.
- Additional staffing will be required to control occupancy, traffic and seating to ensure compliance.
- Enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards must be met by theaters.
Movie theatres have been closed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
“We’re grateful to be reopened and some money coming in is better than no money and I would rather have a 50 person maximum than be closed," North Park Theatre Program Director Ray Barker said Tuesday. The owners of Aurora Theatre told 7 Eyewitness News Tuesday they also hope to reopen October 23rd.
Several AMC and Regal locations will also reopen Friday.
Local movie theatres have filed lawsuits against the state for not allowing movie theatres to reopen.
The North Park Theatre on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo is showing Hocus Pocus this Friday.
Meanwhile, Aurora Theatre in East Aurora opens next weekend with screenings of "Hocus Pocus."
Showtimes are to be determined.
Two Regal, two AMC locations in the Buffalo area are planning on reopening Friday as well.
If you live in Allegany, Cattaraugus, or Chautauqua counties you'll need to wait a little longer as movie theaters are not reopening Friday.