New York City movie theaters to open for the 1st time in almost a year

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Brendan Morrow
·2 min read
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For the first time since March 2020, movie theaters in New York City are about to reopen their doors.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Monday that movie theaters in New York City will be permitted to resume operations at 25 percent capacity and with no more than 50 people per screen beginning on March 5.

Although movie theaters that shuttered during the COVID-19 pandemic have previously reopened in other parts of the United States, including the rest of New York, they've remained closed in New York City and Los Angeles, the two largest moviegoing markets in the country. This has been a major impediment for the box office prospects of movies like Tenet that have debuted theatrically during the pandemic, and it's been part of the reason upcoming blockbusters like No Time to Die have recently been facing new delays.

New York's move to reopen theaters prompted speculation over whether some upcoming tentpole films, such as Marvel's highly-anticipated Black Widow, could actually be released in the coming months rather than be postponed again. At the same time, Variety notes it "will be difficult to turn a profit on $200 million-budgeted films with capped capacity and Los Angeles venues shuttered."

For now, Raya and the Last Dragon and Godzilla vs. Kong will debut in March both in theaters and on streaming, while Marvel's Black Widow is set to only play in theaters on May 7. During a recent earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said Black Widow remains slated for its theatrical release, but he noted the company will be closely "watching to see the reopening of theaters and consumer sentiment in terms of going back."

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