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Governor Andrew Cuomo is expanding the capacity of the city’s movie theaters, museums, and zoos from next Monday (April 26). Following an early March re-opening of movie theaters at 25% capacity, the limit has now been increased to 33%, with museums and zoos boosted from 33% to 50% capacity.
Indoor arenas are also getting a bump in capacity, jumping from their current 10% limit to 25% on May 19.
The loosening of restrictions comes as vaccination rates in the city rise, with New York state reporting that 51% of New York City residents have received their first dose. Additionally, infection numbers of COVID-19 have reduced to a 2.85% positive rate, the lowest recorded since mid-November.
“The numbers are stable and going down,” Cuomo said. “So we can start to open up more economic activity.”
With both the NHL and NBA post-season beginning, the news of the capacity increase in sports arenas is a cause for celebration at New York teams like The Nets, The Islanders, and The Knicks, who are all expected to reach playoffs.
As the weather is getting warmer, the news also comes as a sigh of relief for cinemas. With summer blockbusters famously being one of the biggest moneymakers in the industry, big cinema chains like AMC and Regal rely on the large revenue they provide. “A Quiet Place Part II”, the “Fast and Furious” sequel “F9”, as well as “Cruella,” are all getting ready to hit the screens.
While the local AMC at Times Square opened last month, its neighboring Regal Theater has yet to have such luck. After its parent company, Cineworld, closed all US and UK theaters in October, a statement was made in March of an April re-opening of all their US theaters — though as of now, the W42nd Street venue remains closed.