There is no doubt that the pandemic has made a terrible impact on the entertainment industry, which is why cinemas all over the world have been waiting to get greenlight to re-open activities and try to overcome the crisis that has affected movie theaters all over the world.
That's why the announcement that New York City cinemas will be able to reopen soon, is great news. People will be able to attend screenings in movie theaters again beginning on March 5, after a long year in which they remained closed due to the covid-19 pandemic. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the news at his daily briefing, but also pointed out that the sites could open only if they did it with a 25% capacity, and a cap of 50 people in each screen. Of course, these places should maintain the customary social distancing and hygiene protocols in order to re-open, however testing won't be mandatory.
After the announcement, the exhibitor stocks went immediatly to the roof. AMC, for instance, finished the day around 9% up on 6.60 on the NYSE, while Cinemark stock increased by more than 6% to finish on 23.3. New York City constitutes the second largest market in the US regarding cinema, after Los Angeles. The latter city hasn't announced the re-opening of movie theaters.
To this day, there have been no news regarding the re-opening of cinemas in Los Angeles. Whilst the number of infections in LA continues to decline sharply since the latest surge over the December-January period. Even though it's unclear what studio would make their films available in March, undoubtedly these are great news for some major studios like Disney/Marvel, since their release of 'Black Widow' stands on May 7. On the other hand, Universal has its 'F9' programmed to be released on May 28.
However, there have been reports that say some executives still want to push those tentpoles for better times, when cinemas are able to operate with higher numbers in attendees. According to the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), which by the way welcomed this development, “New York City is a major market for moviegoing in the US; re-opening there gives confidence to film distributors in setting and holding their theatrical release dates”. They also mentioned how important of a step this was towards the recovery of the entire industry, and its intentions to expand the capacity from 25% to 50% in the the very near future, in order to make the movie theaters operate more profitably.