ALBANY — The National Association of Theater Owners of New York State continues to push state lawmakers to open local movie theaters.
Malls, restaurants, retailers and gyms have reopened in recent months, but New York’s movie theaters remain closed despite having a proposed plan to reopen with guidelines that meet safety concerns. NATO of NYS released a video today to showcase those safety and health protocols.
New York’s movie theaters have installed new and improved airflow systems that increase outdoor air intake along with MERV 11 or higher rated air filters, reducing capacity to 50 percent (60 people if at 50 percent capacity which does not happen frequently), staggering showtimes, disinfecting seats and armrests, requiring masks for employees and patrons, installing the newest high-to reserving seats in configurations that enforce social distancing, along with numerous other safety measures.
These measures coincide with and even exceed measures taken by comparable industries that have been allowed to already reopen – industries such as bowling alleys and gyms that have been deemed previously some of the riskiest businesses to reopen.
Movie theaters are especially vulnerable from prolonged shutdowns. The longer theaters remain closed, the more apt the film studios are inclined to release major motion pictures on streaming and video-on-demand platforms. Each film that bypasses movie theaters is a devastating blow.
As of today, New York, North Carolina and New Mexico are the last three states in the country not allowing movie theaters to operate.
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