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Time For Cuomo To Approve A Plan To Reopen Theaters

Gov. Andrew Cuomo needs to make a decision soon on how to reopen movie theaters.

Last week, the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts hosted a walk-through of the facility with Mayor Eddie Sundquist, County Executive PJ Wendel, and state Sen. George Borrello, R-Sunset Bay, to show measures the theater is taking to keep patrons safe if the Reg Lenna is every allowed to show movies again.

Upon entering the theater, guests will have their temperatures taken, will socially distance and wear masks as they make their way to their seats. Capacity has been reduced from 1,100 to 300 seats and groups of seats have been taped off and separated. Hand sanitizing stations can now be found throughout the theater and surfaces will be sanitized after events. Len Barry, Reg Lenna marketing and communications director, said the theater could be ready within a week once the governor gives the green light.

Live performances aren’t likely anytime soon, but even movie nights are important for the downtown theater district. Andrea Latona, owner of the Full Moon Rising Bakery, told The Post-Journal last week that her business has suffered since the Reg Lenna closed its doors while Forte owner Margaret Kaltenmeier said in a Facebook post earlier this year that not having events at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts is one reason she had to temporarily close her restaurant.

Many of these businesses have already suffered through one of the slowest summer seasons they have ever seen. Not allowing at least some traffic in theaters and other civic centers further threatens businesses that are struggling to keep their employees working. Restaurants may be considered essential, but they often rely on non-essential businesses to bring customers to their doors.

We need to open theaters safely, and it appears the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts is ready to do just that. It’s time for the governor to stop dragging his feet and approve some type of reopening plan for movie theaters.

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