Today, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced that, beginning on March 5, movie theaters in New York City will be allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity with no more than 50 audience members seated per screening. Safety measures, including masks, assigned seating, enhanced air filtration, and social-distancing rules, will be implemented. This announcement will bring the city in line with the rest of the state, where counties with infection rates under 2 percent were allowed to reopen theaters in October. Movie theaters in New York City closed their doors to reduce the indoor spread of coronavirus in March 2020, meaning the March 5 reopening date will mark nearly one year since theaters were shuttered. In the months since the pandemic caused movie theaters across the country to close or limit attendance, many studios and distributors shifted their distribution methods for the first time, releasing first-run blockbuster features on home streaming and VOD platforms.
Correction: Early reports (including this article) stated that movie theaters would open on March 15. Governor Cuomo then tweeted that theaters will open March 5. We have updated this article accordingly.