On Friday, New Yorkers got the green light to return to cinemas, registering a pulse in moviegoing after a year-long freeze in the Big Apple. Distributors reported that 49 of the city’s 130+ theatres were active this weekend, with early returns indicating significant ticket sales despite a limit mandated by local health authorities of 25% max capacity or 50 patrons per screening, whichever is smaller.
New York movie lovers can once again see the latest Hollywood releases in theatres, including this weekend’s openers Raya and the Last Dragon and Chaos Walking and last weekend’s #1 film Tom & Jerry. Even Tenet, the Christopher Nolan time-bending thriller that was released last September, was welcomed back to the big screen for its New York premiere, 6 months after it opened in Peoria and many other towns across the country. It’s impossible to turn a profit with capacity limited to 25%, and some operators such as Regal Cinemas are waiting until those limits are raised to at least 50% capacity before re-opening. Still this weekend’s sold-out screenings are a positive sign for moviegoing, and should keep studios on track with the plans to release new films.
See also: Movie theaters in New York City can reopen at 25% capacity (CNBC) – Interview with Joseph Masher, COO of Bow-Tie Cinemas and President of the National Association of Theater Owners of New York