NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – After a seven month sour patch, it’s a sweet day for New York moviegoers happy to have things popping once more at the multiplex.
“It’s great! It’s nice to see things coming back, and it’s about time,” said moviegoer Steve Villano.
“I miss the movies. I love the movies. So happy they reopened at least close to the Bronx,” said Alvin Guzman.
Only the Cuomo administration knows why city theaters cannot safely open, but Westchester theaters can.
Regal Cinemas New Roc City showed off its extensive safety and social distancing protocols, including upgraded air filtration.
“We’ve increased air intake to our auditoriums 50-100%,” said Abel Perez of Regal Cinemas. “We’re offering a safe environment that we are following if not even tougher restrictions than the CDC guidelines.”
What they’re not offering is blockbusters, like Wonder Woman 1984, moved from June to August, then October, and now December.
“Everybody’s being pushed back to next year,” said moviegoer William Bates.
It’s taking a huge toll on the theater industry, which has lost billions in revenue and stock value. A year ago, U.S. stock in Regal’s parent company traded at around $3 a share. After seven months of the pandemic, it’s closer to 40 cents.
Experts say reopening theaters in New York will definitely boost box office.
“A lot of word of mouth comes from New York, a lot of media is based here, it is a sizeable market still. So the fact that theaters in New York haven’t been open for the bulk of the pandemic, that’s really I think factored in in a significant way to the decision that studios have made to push their biggest titles to next year,” said Alison Willmore, film critic with Vulture.com.
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