USA – New York reopens cinemas after a year
New York cinemas sprang back to life on Friday with moviegoers showing confidence in theatre safety during Covid-19 and delight in being able to reconnect with a favorite form of entertainment. At 25% capacity, it’s rough going but after a quiet start to the day many evening shows across the city were sold out, according to theater websites.
Movie theaters in Chicago, Houston, Phoenix and Philadelphia have been open for months. But attendance remains low, not just because of public safety concerns—but because there isn’t much to see. Major studios are delaying their blockbusters, or releasing them straight to streaming.
For a theatrical business that has been punished by the pandemic, the resumption of moviegoing in New York — is a crucial first step in revival. “It’s a symbolic moment,” said Michael Barker, co-president of the New York-based Sony Pictures Classics, which on Friday released the Oscar contenders The Father and The Truffle Hunters in Manhattan theatres.
Theaters reopening at reduced capacity in New York, and eventually Los Angeles as well, may not push studios to suddenly reverse the sea change the past year has brought. Now that customers are more used to streaming first-run movies at home, Hollywood may look for a way to cement that digital future.