NEW YORK — Elijas Valentine and his family are happy to be back watching a movie on the big screen. He says it is better than being stuck at home. 

What You Need To Know

  • Movie theaters outside of New York City reopened Friday

  • Gov. Cuomo says theaters can begin screening again at 25% capacity with a limit of 50 people per screen

  • Some residents from the city traveled to Westchester County for the return of movies on the big screen

“It is different because at home we can’t do nothing. All we can do is sit and watch TV, but at the movie theaters we can eat popcorn and watch movies,” explained the young movie-goer.

But the Bronx residents were not at their local theater. Instead, they traveled to Yonkers to see Robert De Niro in "The War With Grandpa."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo allowed cinemas outside the city to reopen Friday at 25% capacity with a limit of 50 people per screen. So the movie-loving family made the trip to Westchester County. 

“It is super inconvenient. Instead of having something that is five minutes away or two minutes away, I have to travel 15 to 20 minutes for it,” said Elijas’s mom Amanda. 

Kathleen Morales and her boyfriend are also from the Bronx. Before the pandemic, they saw a movie once a week. After looking up the theaters precautions, they bought tickets to see "Tenet," and basically had the theater to themselves.

“We are excited to come back, and I actually prefer that it is a little bit empty.”

While the smell of movie theater popcorn remains the same, some things in the movie theater are different. There are fewer showings to allow for cleanings in between, masks must be worn at all time except while eating or drinking, and seats are assigned to ensure social distancing. 

But movie loyalist say it is good to be back.

“Just waiting and waiting. I had to go to Colorado to watch movies. So I am just glad we are able to go with my son and just do family experiences outside and get out of the house.”

There is no timeline for when movie theaters in the city will be authorized to reopen, so any New Yorker looking to catch a flick will have to make the trip to Westchester or Long Island.


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