NY theater owners send joint statement to Cuomo, pleading they are safe to reopen

Theater owners are becoming more desperate to open their doors as more New York businesses get the green light to reopen.

News 12 Staff

Sep 10, 2020, 9:56 PM

Updated 1,356 days ago

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Theater owners are becoming more desperate to open their doors as more New York businesses get the green light to reopen.
Owners of over a dozen New York art theaters are awaiting a response from Gov. Andrew Cuomo after sending a joint statement last week, pleading their case that they are safe to reopen.
Brian Ackerman, with the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, says the whole issue is perplexing.
"You're sitting in a film, watching it, you're not talking...and that, to us, is an infinitely safer environment than going to a restaurant where you take your mask off, or going to a bowling alley where you're eating, or going to a gym where you're breathing very heavily," he says.
New York has taken a regional approach with New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania on many things, but it is the only state that hasn't opened any theaters.
 
 
Gov. Cuomo has said he's concerned about people staying in one space too long and poor ventilation.
"All the art theaters are actually a cultural institution. Actually, it's no different in that sense than museums which are now being allowed to open, so that's what basically we're trying to get our head around," says Ackerman.
As far as the larger movie theater chains, the CEO of IMAX said Wednesday, "New York is a little bit of a head scratcher. It's opened bowling alleys, gyms and casinos and there's no question that going to theaters is safer than any of those things."
According to AMC, in states where it has been allowed to reopen, "Its guest scores for theatre cleanliness hit all-time highs, considerably beating by a wide margin all previous theatre cleanliness scores, which have been tracked by AMC through surveys for decades."


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