Fate of the Global Movie Business May Hinge on Andrew Cuomo

In recent days, marquees around New York have been adorned with messages begging and pressuring Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow cinemas to welcome back customers.

“48 states have reopened theatres safely. Why not New York, Gov. Cuomo?” read the sign outside a Regal Cinemas in Times Square. The Aurora Theatre, a movie palace near Buffalo that dates back to 1925, was pithier. “Now showing nothing. Starring nobody,” its sign said.

Cinema owners are fed up over the lack of direction they say they’ve received from officials in the Empire State about how they can reopen their businesses after being closed for nearly seven months due to the coronavirus.

“To say I’m frustrated would be an understatement,” said Brett Bossard, executive director of Cinemapolis, a five-screen non-profit theater in Ithaca. “They’ve shared no guidelines or benchmarks and that’s left us without any way to properly prepare. We’re operating in the dark.”

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Adopting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will limit business in spiking neighborhoods

In red zones, a maximum of 10 people at allowed at a religious gathering, mass gatherings are prohibited, only essential businesses are allowed to remain open, schools are closed, and takeout dining is the only option.

Orange zones are considered surrounding areas and yellow zones are considered precautionary areas. These zones will vary in terms of their commercial activity and school closings. Orange zones will close high-risk non-essential businesses like gyms, bars, and restaurants, as well as schools, while permitting outdoor dining. Yellow zones will open businesses, allow indoor and outdoor dining, and keep schools open.  

A large part of South Brooklyn—including Borough Park—and two parts of Queens have been designated into the three cluster zones by the governor’s office.  

The new rules could go into effect as early as Wednesday and no later than Friday, though local officials will be in charge of initiating the rules. They will be

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