New York Cinemas Use Banners, Marquees To Push Gov. Cuomo To Reopen

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Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had his name up in lights in New York City’s Times Square, but he’s not getting favorable reviews.

In August, Cuomo said that movie theaters would soon be able to reopen, but as October winds along, the governor has still not given theaters the green light, according to the New York Post.

The Regal E-Walk in NYC’s Times Square took its plea public last week, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Its marquee read, “48 states have reopened theaters so far. Why not New York, Gov. Cuomo? #ReopenOurCinemasNY.”

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Joseph Masher, president of the New York chapter of the National Association of Theatre owners, said the theater is part of a statewide drive to reopen theaters.

“We are owed an answer. We’ve answered every question. He said theaters would be next, but that was almost a month ago. And then crickets,” Masher told The Hollywood Reporter.

Making Cuomo a marquee was first tried by the Aurora Theatre in East Aurora, New York, southeast of Buffalo, which posted the same message as the Regal E-Walk.

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The Aurora Theatre added a second line: “playing nothing. Starring nobody,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Cineworld, the parent company of the Regal, said it is closing all American and British theaters because there are no new films, according to CNBC.

In announcing the closing, the company said that new films will remain in limbo until New York theaters reopen, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Richard Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Cuomo, indicated that the governor has no plans to bend.

“We understand some people are unhappy, but you know what? Better unhappy than sick or worse,” he said in a statement, according to the New York Post. “We’re moving heaven and earth trying to stop a second wave and people need to acknowledge that we’re still in a pandemic and start to act like it.”

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John Fithian, president-CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners, said New York is “out of touch,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Mooky Greidinger, Cineworld CEO, has complained about Cuomo’s “inflexibility.”

“The Governor allows in-restaurant dining, bowling alleys, casinos and others, but he will not allow cinemas,” Greidinger said, according to Deadline.

“There is no rationale. We received messages like ‘cinema is not essential’ and we fail to understand why other indoor activities are essential, but cinema excluded,” Greidinger told Deadline.

“Other than that, we never received a real explanation as to why New York, which had great success in the war against COVID in general, does not allow us to come back like it’s been done all over the world,” he said.

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