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US Covid-19. Closed for a year, cinemas allowed to reopen in New York

11:45  23 february  2021
11:45  23 february  2021 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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Une salle de cinéma à côté de Time Square à New York, fermée pour cause de pandémie le 12 octobre 2020. © ANGELA WEISS / AFP A movie theater next to Time Square in New York, closed due to a pandemic on October 12, 2020.

It was over a year that New Yorkers couldn't go to the movies because of the coronavirus pandemic. The state governor has announced that cinemas will be able to reopen on March 5, with a maximum limit.

The theaters of cinema will be able to reopen at New York on March 5, almost a year to the day after their administrative closure due to the pandemic, the governor of New State announced on Monday, February 22. York Andrew Cuomo.

The reopening will be done with a maximum capacity of 25% of the usual capacity and a limit of 50 spectators per hall, said the governor.

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It's a breath of fresh air for the film industry in USA , deprived of its two largest markets, Los Angeles and New York.

In New York, theaters have been closed since March 17, 2020, by decree of the mayor, Bill de Blasio .

Coronavirus cases on the decline

The decision comes as the number of positive coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in New York City returns to levels at the start of December, the start of the second peak of the pandemic.

New York City is now aligned with the rest of the state, where theaters were allowed to reopen in mid-October.

However, some cinemas in the rest of the state have decided to remain closed, believing that a reopening would not be economically viable.

The low tonnage, the restrictions on the sale of food and drink, as well as the lack of films likely to attract viewers, have thus dissuaded many exhibitors from taking the plunge.

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Film release schedule disrupted

The release schedule has been disrupted by Hollywood studios, which have delayed the arrival of most of the big budget films.

Disney and Warner have maintained a few titles, but opted for a simultaneous release, such as Raya and the Last Dragon, which will arrive in theaters and on the Disney + platform in early March.

For the American Cinema Owners Association (NATO), "the reopening (in New York) will give confidence to film distributors to set release dates and keep them" . " This is also an important step in the recovery of an entire industry.

In a statement to AFP, Adam Aron, CEO of AMC, the largest in the United States, announced that the group's 13 theaters in New York would reopen on March 5.

Asked by AFP, Andrew Elgart, independent owner of three theaters in New York City, said he would "probably not" reopen on March 5, although he is exploring the possibility of doing so later. It is " not certain" that a restart is profitable under these conditions.

There are no plans to reopen in Los Angeles at this time.

In San Francisco, the country's third largest market, the authorities authorized the reopening in October, but many operators have chosen to remain closed, deeming the conditions imposed too disadvantageous economically.

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