NEW YORK - Since March, the marquee outside of Kew Gardens Cinemas has read “temporarily closed.”
And it will remain unchanged, as Governor Cuomo announces only movie theaters outside of the city can reopen.
What You Need To Know
- New Yorkers can return to the movie theaters outside of the city on Friday, October 23rd
- Theaters can reopen in counties with a seven day average infection rate below 2 percent and without any COVID hot spots
- Theaters must operate at 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 50 people per screen
“It does nothing but great independent films. The community loves it. I love it and we would like to see it back,” said one local resident.
New Yorkers can return to the movies on Friday, October 23rd in counties other than the five boroughs, with a seven day average infection rate below 2 percent, and without any COVID hot spots.
There are limitations; theaters must operate at 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 50 people per screen.
“I thought maybe they should open up here too. If you social distance and you wear the mask and they said there is only 50 people that would be okay and the neighborhood misses the movie very much,“ explained another Kew Gardens resident.
Masks must be worn even while seated, unless snacking on some popcorn or sipping a soda.
And assigned seating is required to ensure for social distancing.
Some New Yorkers say they will be driving to neighboring counties like Nassau or Westchester to see a movie, especially as the weather gets colder and there are less outdoor activities.
“When the restaurants weren’t open, that is what we did. It is not like we can’t get to these places. It is just much more of an inconvenience to us when we are right here and there are great local places we should be able to visit and support,” said one woman who lives around the corner from Kew Gardens Cinemas.
Movie theater chains and entertainment groups have been critical of the governor’s limitations.
Regal cinemas last week closed all of their locations across the country, including 44 throughout New York State because of loss of revenue.
Some locals say the announcement doesn’t change anything for them but they worry about their local cinemas.
“I am really sad for them. I really like this theater but it is unfortunate. We are in the middle of a pandemic so there is really nothing much you can do,” questioned a local resident.
With many of the blockbuster films expected to debut this year being delayed or rescheduled for next year, some residents say they aren’t even sure what theaters will play.