While New York has gradually been reopening and reacclimatizing to life after once being an epicenter for coronavirus transmission, movie theaters are still waiting in limbo to return in one of their most central national markets. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that movie theaters would remain closed throughout the state for the time being, not specifying a date of possible reopening.
In a briefing that day, Cuomo deemed movie theaters to be “less essential” and “higher risk,” citing the large amounts of people sitting in the same place for an extended period of time with just “one ventilation system.” Theaters in New York have been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States in March. Cuomo also stated that “It’s the level of risk. If you look at our metrics, we started with the most essential business that posed the least risk. And then it was the gradation to the least essential businesses that posed the most risk.”
Across the country, theaters have been gradually reopening according to state guidelines. For instance, AMC recently announced the first phase in their reopening plan across the country, including offering fifteen-cent tickets in honor of their “1920 prices.” The biggest three chains- AMC, Regal, and Cinemark- are all modifying opening procedures to allow for social distancing, with Cinemark leading the charge in states where theaters are allowed to open. Regal and AMC are planning to open their doors starting as soon as this Friday. New York joins a list of states without reopenings allowed in August, including California, Arizona, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, North Carolina, Washington, DC, and Washington state.