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Movie theater owners waiting to know when to reopen

Posted at 5:28 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 17:46:26-04

EAST AURORA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Anxiety is growing over when movie theaters can reopen in New York.

"The last we heard is we're next on the list, but we don't know when that will be, what the conditions will be, what the guidelines will be," said Lynn Kinsella, owner of the Aurora Theater.

The screen at the Aurora Movie Theater in East Aurora has been dark since March.

Kinsella, along with other movie theater owners, are calling on New York state to allow movie theaters to reopen.

"The industry is having conversations as we speak with the Department of Health. So those conversations are continuing. And I know there's a lot of concern about their well-being," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

The National Association of Theater Owners put together a proposed reopening plan with safety guidelines for the state.

"The cinema safe plan is an excellent plan, it's been - actually was shared with Dr. Fauci through our national office. He thought it was an excellent plan, and so we're hopeful that that plan will be what brings us back to operation," said Kinsella.

The Aurora Theater has been closed for six months now, and Kinsella said she's worried about the future.

"I mean truly, that's really what we're looking at: what is the future of our movie theater but also movie theaters across the nation," she said.

According to the National Association of Theater Owners of New York, more than 10,000 full and part-time movie theater employees have been laid off or furloughed since the pandemic began.

"As a result of us not being able to reopen, movies have been moved out of this calendar year. Major movies," said Kinsella.

Several safety protocols are in place already, all that's needed is a date for reopenig.