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Cuomo Gives Theaters OK To Reopen; Not In County

Movie theaters in Chautauqua Cattaraugus counties are among those that will be unable to reopen their doors on Friday due to high COVID-19 positivity rates. P-J file photo

Movie theaters in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties are among those that will be unable to reopen their doors on Friday due to high COVID-19 positivity rates in the last two weeks.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that a majority of counties outside New York City can reopen at 25% capacity under state guidance starting Oct. 23. Counties, however, must have a positivity rate below 2% on a 14-day average and have no “cluster zones.”

In addition to the 25% capacity, theaters can only allow a maximum of 50 people per screen, Cuomo said at his briefing.

Masks will be required and there will be assigned seating to ensure social distancing. According to a release, theaters will be subject to rigorous state guidance and enforcement.

Theaters in Allegany, Broome, Chemung, Cortland, Greene, Orange, Rockland, Schuyler, Steuben and Tioga will also not be able to open on Friday.

Cuomo’s decision to open up movie theaters this week comes after an open letter sent to him last week by the Global Cinema Federation urging him to let theaters reopen, saying Hollywood studios may continue delaying their remaining 2020 releases if theaters remain closed.

The group asked Cuomo to adopt a county-by-county plan for theater openings based on virus data, similar to what it said California Gov. Gavin Newsom has done.

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