Over a dozen New York Assemblymembers push for movie reopening guidelines

Movie theater popcorn

Movie theater popcorn. (Pixabay / Pexels)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Seventeen members of the New York State Assembly sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday, pushing for the state to release guidelines for movie theaters to reopen.

The letter urges the state to consider a limited opening for theaters to test standards in safe regions, presumably where infection rates are very low.

“Up to 10,000 movie theater employees statewide have been laid-off or furloughed and small, locally-owned movie theaters are looking at permanent closure,” said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy. “In communities throughout New York but especially upstate, locally-owned movie theaters are a critical part of downtowns and ‘Main Streets’ where foot traffic and other amenities drive our local economies.”

In addition to Fahy, who represents much of western Albany in the 109th Assembly District, other legislators signed the letter:

  • John McDonald III
  • Donna Lupardo
  • Al Stirpe
  • Carrie Woerner
  • Ellen Jaffee
  • Judy Griffin
  • Al Taylor
  • Marianne Buttenschon
  • Anthony D’Urso
  • Steve Stern
  • Angelo Santabarbara
  • Billy Jones
  • Phil Steck
  • Jonathan Jacobson
  • Rebecca Seawright
  • Kenneth Zebrowski

The National Association of Theater Owners of New York State submitted a plan mandating mask compliance, reducing capacity at 50%, and social distancing measures. “We believe we have the right plan in place to properly reopen movie theaters safely, keeping patron safety of paramount concern,” said Joe Masher, president of the Association and COO of Bow Tie Cinemas. “If retailers, restaurants, malls, gyms, and bowling alleys are now open, there is no reason for theaters not to reopen.”

Forty-two other states—including Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania—have already reopened movie theaters.

Take a look at the letter to the governor below:

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