ALBANY, NY — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Saturday that movie theaters outside of New York City can reopen at 25 percent capacity under state guidance starting October 23. No more than 50 people are allowed in front of each screen in each movie theater at once. Theaters can only open outside of New York City in counties that have COVID-19 positivity rates of less than 2 percent on a 14-day average and do not have any cluster zones. Theaters will be subject to rigorous state guidance and enforcement.
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.
Theaters cannot reopen in the following counties:
It may be too late.
Regal theater chain announced earlier this month it will shut down all 536 locations in the United States, citing “an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape” due to COVID-19.
Regal is the second-largest film exhibitor in the U.S., after AMC Theatres.
The real cliffhanger is whether people will sit for two hours in a theater with strangers.