EXCLUSIVE: With all the glee emanating out of NYC this past weekend that Covid capacity restrictions were lifted, from restaurants to SNL‘s Studio 8H audiences, movie theaters are still slammed with a big asterisk.
Heading into the Memorial Day frame when Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II and Disney’s Cruella are expected to revive summer moviegoing for movie theaters, which didn’t get a season last year, cinemas in NY state have to maintain a 6-foot distance between moviegoers in auditoriums even though capacity restrictions have been lifted. At that arm’s length, it’s a challenge for some theaters to even fill their auditoriums to 50%. And even more of a slap-in-the-face is that New Jersey is completely lifting all capacity restrictions and distancing effective this Friday (see below).
So what’s going on?
We hear that the New York National Association of Theatre Owners reached out to the CDC, which isn’t issuing any more pandemic restrictions, and telling businesses to abide by their local state rulings. As such NY NATO is having its lobbyists reach out to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office and demand a lifting of all capacity restrictions and social distancing in movie theaters by this coming weekend. NY NATO’s worst case scenario hope: That there’s at least a 3-foot distance measure allowed for movie theaters. We’ll let you know about any further updates.
NEW: Effective May 28th, we will lift the requirement for maintaining six feet of social distancing in indoor and outdoor settings.⁰⁰Per @CDCgov guidance, social distancing will continue to be required in settings where masking is required. pic.twitter.com/YzxzIVkDx8
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) May 24, 2021