Movie Theaters Will Be Allowed to Reopen on March 5, But Not Every UWS Theater Will

AMC Lincoln Square on 68th Street.

Gov. Cuomo announced this week that movie theaters will be allowed to reopen on March 5 at 25% capacity, with no more than 50 people per screen.

AMC Theaters, which has two locations on the Upper West Side, said it plans to reopen immediately on March 5, with several safety measures in place, including social distancing, mandatory mask-wearing and enhanced air filtration. “Since reopening our first theatres with AMC Safe & Clean in August, AMC has welcomed back nearly 10 million moviegoers nationwide without a single reported case of COVID-19 transmission among moviegoers at our theatres,” the company said in a release.

AMC has theaters on 84th Street and Broadway and 68th and Broadway. The one on 84th was previously known as a “make-out” spot, though that would likely violate Covid rules these days.

Film at Lincoln Center, however, will not be reopening its theaters just yet. “While we are aware of the recent announcement from the Governor’s Office allowing New York City movie theaters to reopen, in the interest of the safety of our staff and audiences, Film at Lincoln Center’s theaters remain closed,” the theater said. “We continue to monitor the situation closely and will share further information about our plans to reopen when possible.”

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    1. lynn says:

      Weren’t these 2 theaters getting robbed on a regular basis pre-Covid? Nice to know they were finally cleaned though. 😉

    2. Wijmlet says:

      too soon

    3. Alla says:

      It’s about time to start resuming normal life.

      • Josh says:

        Yeah, it’s not like half a million Americans died from this or anything like that. I want to see a movie and that should take precedence over this health mumbo jumbo.

        • Brandon says:

          That was a rude comment. You have no idea what sacrifice, hardship or tragedy Alla has experienced with the pandemic, so please don’t presume you need to lecture them on the enormity of what we’re going through.

          Besides, what exactly is your point? Will avoiding movie theaters bring back those half million people? And what about those of us who are vaccinated, are we supposed to wait to do anything until you, Josh, are comfortable?

          I’m not vaccinated, but when I do get my shot(s), I expect to begin living my life again — that was the whole point of developing a vaccine to begin with.

          • sg says:

            Right on Brandon. Haters are gonna hate, but it really is annoying when someone deigns to know what’s best for everyone. Here’s an idea Josh, you can stay away until you’re comfortable.

            • Lady Di says:

              AMEN! no one is forcing you, Josh, to go. I’ve already lost a year of my life, and I’m getting too old to lose any more time. Let them do temp checks, etc., require double masking, and keep the headcount to the minimum.

        • PastramiBliss says:

          “we need a few weeks to stop the spread” — March 2020. Enough is enough, it’s time to LIVE. You want to be a shut in? That’s your choice. Keep ordering from Amazon, Fresh Direct, and Whole Foods delivery. I on the other hand, am GOING OUT!

      • upper west side girly says:

        I totally agree!!

    4. Chris says:

      My partner and I (ess worker) have recovered from covid many months back and are very ready to take in a movie. A large portion of NYC also has antibodies according to a NYT report I saw back in Nov so I think there is a segment which can be out there supporting our businesses. If people do not feel comfortable going out, they should stay in.

      • m.pipik says:

        The UWS has one of the lowest rates of antibodies in the City. That’s not surprising considering that we had one of the lowest rates of infections.

        Look it up on Gothamist’s daily report

    5. Luhk Semborg says:

      Still too many people to watch a movie in NYC.

      I’m sure the 25% of people will be on their phone and talking through the whole movie anyway.

    6. SCPNYC says:

      Enjoy! I’m happy waiting safely until the fall for legitimate theatre’s return.

    7. Lauren says:

      Movie theaters are a perfect thing to re-open – little transmission risk (people are sitting mostly silent with faces covered, no intermission, little stranger to stranger interaction, no shouting or singing).
      It is critical for people, especially young people to get back out there and start re-entering life and seeing friends in a relatively low risk way. Otherwise we will continue to see the spikes in teenage suicides and other mental health crises among young people.

      • Kate says:

        You really think people are going to keep their masks on during the movie?

        • rhw says:

          I’ve been to 5 movies (outside NYC) and people were mostly masked. We got some Junior Mints (talk about movie food!) and would just drop mask for a second to pop one in. It obviously won’t be 100% but reasonably high. I also think people in NYC are pretty serious about masks.

      • Stella says:

        Uh, people eat and drink in a movie, except at Film at Lincoln Center where it is prohibited, and thus masks will probably remain around necks for longer than may be advisable. This would have been a good time for AMC Lincoln Square to finally tear out their old, soiled seats in favor of the leather recliners found in other Manhattan AMCs.

    8. Peter says:

      If businesses in NYC don’t start opening there will be nothing left. When you go out this fall there will literally be nothing left. I wonder if some of the commenters actually go outside. The city is dying a slow painful death. There has to be some return to normalcy. Other states are far more open and don’t seem to have issues.

      • Frank fed up says:

        Return to normal and let the individual decide. If your nervous stay home without judgement. Just stay home. A free society should be free to choose their own level of risk. All you nervous people will be the first ones to complain that your city is gone when you finally emerge

      • ben says:

        Since you bring up “other states”, it’s important to note that “other states” (at least 37 of them) also have less population than NYC alone. Population density makes the situation in the city unique and not a great comparison to “other states”.

    9. Annie says:

      A lot of money is made on sales of popcorn, ice cream, soda, etc. so people who do buy those items will not be masked when they are sitting in the theater. That’s a COVID transmission risk.

    10. Steven says:

      Would be nice if the Lincoln Square theater on 68th street used this closed time to renovate their theaters. They have been in DESPERATE need of a renovation for years. You either get a seat that is so broken in your practically on the lap of the person behind you or it’s a replacement seat that doesn’t even recline at all. This past year would have been a perfect opportunity to do this, but doubtful they did.

    11. EGF says:

      I support the opening of movie theaters at the 25% level along with all of the other staggered openings coming our way. If you are uncomfortable with going to a restaurant or theater, then stay away. It’s not the difficult of a concept. Stay well!

    12. Tim says:

      Hopefully Safe&Clean means just that, by not laying off professional janitors during the week to save money and have staff do it.

    13. UWS Craig says:

      When people spread the virus they don’t just put themselves at risk, they put the entire community at risk. Which is why the science demands that non-essential people stay at home until herd immunity is reached in 2022, assuming no new deadly variants emerge. Governor Cuomo’s judgment in keeping us safe is suspect. I listen to the scientists, like Bill Nye and Sanjay Gupta.

    14. O Rogers says:

      Looking forward to going back to the Theater. Glad Covid will be a thing of the past in a few months time.

    15. Bilmam says:

      People who say SCIENCE DEMANDS people stay home really are not looking at numbers. Many states which are wide open have far fewer new infections and new deaths than NY. (Adjusting for population size) Stay home if you please but don’t impose your will on people who responsibly venture out.

      • Lady Di says:

        absolutely right. the key word is “responsibly” and while I am not naive, at some point one has to start trusting other people to do the right thing in order to reopen something, anything. No one is forcing anyone to go where they don’t feel comfortable.

    16. Wendy says:

      Would it be possible to ban eating while watching the films?
      To my mind that would make it so much safer so we could stay masked.

    17. Lauren says:

      Must say, it is a relief to see that a high percentage of comments support resuming normal life. I was starting to think I was the only one who felt this way. Maybe we seemed to be in the minority because the language that the “stay home until 2022” commentators use is very inflammatory. A lot of words are published about this pandemic that go straight to the fear center of the brain like: “terrifying”, “raging” “spiking” and “perilous”. Maybe this leads to an unbalanced notion of what a majority of the public is actually feeling right now which is: tired of being told that they should stay home and feel terrified. The fact is, I AM terrified, terrified that when everything “opens”, there will be nothing left.

    18. Steevie says:

      I am looking forward to seeing a movie. Before the pandemic I would often get to the theater early and buy sugary refreshments. I would eat these during the commercials and coming attractions. Then the movie would start and you would see the hero in a domestic situation with his wife and children. Oftentimes the story was that his career had been damaged years before because of unjust decisions by his superiors. He then would get in his car to go someplace, perhaps to visit his partner who had been maimed in the same incident that had wrecked the hero’s career. At this point I would fall asleep because the sugar was leaving my bloodstream. I would wake up with a start when the shots and explosions on the soundtrack would start. I was now wide awake and ready to enjoy the rest of the movie having missed nothing if great importance.

    19. rhw says:

      I have been to 5 movies outside of NYC and can’t wait for March 5!

      Seems safer than inside dining: people stay masked (unless eating popcorn), don’t talk loudly, don’t go in and out, no people coming to your space take your order/deliver food, don’t have new people coming to sit next to you etc.