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Cinemas in New York City can reopen, but will people leave?



Nicolas Nicolaou, a New York-based movie theater operator, was almost relieved for the first time in a year. This is because Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that cinemas in the five boroughs will reopen next month, which may be a year of rebirth in the entertainment industry that has been obscured by the coronavirus pandemic.

Nicolaou owns three theaters in the city, namely the Film Village in Manhattan, the Alps Theater in Brooklyn and the Cinemat Cinema in Queens. Due to the damage caused by the frozen pipeline, he expects that these venues will not reopen until April 2. When he lights up the marquee lights again, his arena will operate at 25% capacity, or 50 people per auditorium, which means that it is almost free. It is impossible to make money. However, he said that after what he called “the worst year of my life”

;, he was happy to have the opportunity to welcome customers.

He said: “When the capacity is 25%, you will not be able to make a profit.” But he plans to restart his business anyway because he thinks it will “prove that the coronavirus cannot be traced back to the cinema.” He added: “Hopefully Within a reasonable time, we will be allowed to run at 50% speed, which is more economical.”

The approval of the reopening of New York City movie theaters is significant, far beyond the Big Apple. With the closure of movie theaters in the country’s most populous city, film studios were forced to postpone showing the largest movies or ship them to streaming services. Although this news does not necessarily mean that blockbusters will soon usher in the big screen (the theaters of another major film market in Los Angeles are still closed, while the reopening of movie theaters elsewhere is empty), many people still think this It is a positive development in restoration. The battered film industry.

“This is a very important problem,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “This will hopefully inspire film studios to release blockbusters. I don’t want to like Pollyanna too much, but at least it gives us some chances to get back to normal.”

For larger theater chains, such as AMC theaters, despite the short turnaround time, it is more realistic to reopen within two weeks. AMC has the largest footprint in the United States. The company plans to reopen all 13 venues in New York on March 5. The company’s chief executive, Adam Aron, said on Monday that the decision was “another important step in restoring the health of the cinema industry.”

He said that in line with agreements with other AMC locations, New York City locations will comply with AMC safety and cleanliness policies, which include “social evacuation and automatic seat blockage in every auditorium, mandatory masks and the use of MERV-13 air filters. Upgrade air filtration, as well as many other important health, sanitation, and cleaning tasks.” The National Association of Theater Owners, a major lobbying group in the film projection industry, pointed out that movie theaters across the country have been operating “safely and responsibly” with higher capacity restrictions It took several months without any COVID-19 outbreak.

Regal Cinemas and Cinemark (the second and third largest cinema in the United States) will not be affected by the announcement. Since September, all Regal venues have been closed and will not reopen until the studio begins to release more licensed films. And Cinemark has no place in the city.

Alamo Drafthouse, a smaller hotel chain known for in-theatre dining, intends to reopen its Brooklyn space in the near future. It is not clear how the New York City Independent Theater, Angelika, Film Forum, IFC Center or Metrograph plans to operate. For many people, keeping it closed may be more financially feasible.

A spokesperson for Alamo Drafthouse said: “We don’t believe we will do this before March 5-there is a lot of work to do-but we look forward to reopening City Point. [in Brooklyn] As soon as possible, we will make a lot of noise when doing this. “

Abandoning the projector is only half the battle. You know, let people go to the movies.

Before the pandemic, New York City resident Stephanie Walls (Stephanie Walls) often went to the cinema with the same compulsiveness, which may inspire people to wear warm clothes in the winter. If she just walked through the theater, she would check the show time and buy tickets on a whim. This is how the 34-year-old watched “Black Panther” seven times a week in the Marvel blockbuster in 2018.

But despite her strong, almost reflexive love of watching movies, Walls has no plans to return soon. She has not yet received any dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Even if she is vaccinated with the CoVID-19 vaccine, she hopes that she will be vigilant to return to her old lifestyle.

Walls said: “I don’t know if I have full confidence in how this country will conduct a pandemic.” “I can only control my work and make sure I have as few exposure opportunities as possible.”

Drew Katz, a 24-year-old from Brooklyn, said that he used to watch movies twice a month and estimated that he had “watched everything.” He said that now, as long as there is a vaccine, he won’t let him back down.

He said: “It is impossible to determine whether the air filtration is normal.” “There is no distance to convince me that it is safe to sit in a room with 49 people for two hours.”

Juan Manangon, who lives in Brooklyn, has suspended his AMC Stubs A-List subscription, and he admitted that he is not sure how to reopen the theater. The 39-year-old media researcher said: “I hope it will be the same as before, but it won’t be like that.” “If I decide to go, I will wait two weeks to see what people are saying-reviewing health agreements and The condition of the city in terms of infection rate.”

For 35-year-old Matt Parker, this is not so hazy. He must be vaccinated before he can return. He said: “Worrying about risks is simply not worth it,” “We have made such a long sacrifice. [I] Need to read through, so everything is worth it. “

On the other hand, Brooklyn Antonio Harris did not hesitate. He believes that returning to the cinema is a restoration of “a certain normality.” After the theater in the administrative district closed, he went to Jersey City for repairs-three times he saw “promising young women”.

He said: “There has never been anyone there.” “It’s a creepy feeling, but I’m satisfied that it’s empty. It’s a relief.”

He told himself that he would not indulge in franchised snacks, but in the end, the charm of buttered popcorn was too tempting to refuse. “I have to get it,” said the 24-year-old, a recruitment coordinator for a technology company. When he is not chewing popcorn, he makes sure to keep a double mask.

The 25-year-old Brennan Jackson also said that he is happy to return to watch the movie on the big screen. He plans to buy tickets for the Disney animated adventure film “Raya and the Last Dragon” on March 5th, when the theaters in New York City can reopen. He said: “This shows that things are slow but it will definitely return to normal.” He has not yet been vaccinated, but he said that the precautions taken are enough to make him feel safe. He likened the trip to the cinema to the risk of going to the grocery store.

He said: “If the movie theater has no capacity limit, I don’t want to go.” “But I think it’s fine to see them limit up to 50 people.”

“Honestly,” he continued, “after being alone for a whole year, I need a place to go.”

Theater owner Nicolaou hopes other New Yorkers are equally upset. In the decades he has owned the venue, he has kept down the ticket prices to ensure that locals of all financial backgrounds can afford movie ticket stubs. Even if the flow of people decreases, he still plans to continue to charge lower fees.

He admitted that this may be a slow process. Although the virus is still spreading in the United States, Nicholas still welcomes the pandemic safety guidelines provided by scientific experts and believes that the country will escape the global health crisis.

He said: “We must listen to Fauci.” “He is from Brooklyn.”




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