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Movie Theaters Reopen at 25% Capacity, Soon to be 33%

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The Metrograph opened on Ludlow Street in May. Photo by Whitney Browne.
Metrograph movie theater on Ludlow Street has not set an official reopening date. Photo by Whitney Browne.

Many downtown movie theaters reopened at 25% occupancy this past Friday, and are heading towards being able to operate at 33% capacity, as of April 2, 2021. Indoor capacity will be set at 100-150 attendees. At that point, indoor events will be limited to 100 people, no matter the venue size, unless the venue can administer COVID-19 tests to all attendees, and then the capacity will be increased to 150 people.

Just in time for spring, on March 22, the city will allow social hangouts in public places to rise from 50 people to 100 people indoors and 200 people outdoors.

The New York Times has a guide of downtown movie theaters that have chosen to open, including the Angelica Film Center, Village East Cinemas and the IFC Center.

Anthology Film Archives told the times they don’t have a firm date for reopening yet, noting:

“We’re going to sort of take it slow and take a wait-and-see approach,” Jed Rapfogel, the theater’s programmer, said, noting that the organization is keeping an eye on factors like the spread of new Covid-19 variants and the availability of vaccines. “I think the first thing that will most likely happen will be one screening a week or a couple screenings a week.”

And the hyper local arthouse, Metrograph, hasn’t offered any details, except for this statement:

 “While we can’t wait to see everyone, we must evaluate all the details — safety and logistical — for our team and audiences. We’ll be in touch soon with more updates.” The theater remains closed for now, and it plans to continue streaming titles on its virtual platform after reopening.

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