After seven months in the dark, the lights will soon be back on at two Regal Cinemas and two AMC theatre locations in Western New York.
Regal Walden Galleria, Regal Quaker Crossing, AMC Market Arcade and AMC Maple Ridge 8 will reopen Friday - the first day they are permitted to operate again under new state guidelines. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week that movie theatres outside New York City can reopen at 25 percent capacity.
Regal locations in North Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Williamsville, along with other U.S. markets, will remain shut down due to the lack of new releases. The chain is hopeful studios will reschedule some movies that are currently on hold for release in November and December.
AMC says it will be serving guests in 44 of the 45 states where it has theatres, featuring titles such as Tenet, The War with Grandpa, Honest Thief, 2 Hearts and The Empty Man.
The property owner of Regal's Quaker Crossing location recently filed a federal lawsuit against Cuomo, New York Attorney General Letitia James and Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker.
In the suit, Quaker Crossing Retail Center Owner Gerry Buchheit claims the government-mandated total closure of movie theaters violates first amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of expression and takes away private property without just compensation.
According to the lawsuit, Regal hasn’t paid Quaker Crossing its monthly rent of $133,000 since March.