New York cinemas to re-open

City plans a phased return to big screen viewing

by Anne-Katrin Titze

Jayro Bustamante’s Oscar-shortlisted La Llorona will reopen the IFC Center in New York on March 5
Jayro Bustamante’s Oscar-shortlisted La Llorona will reopen the IFC Center in New York on March 5 Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that cinemas may reopen in New York City at 25% capacity with no more than 50 people per screen, starting on Friday, March 5, 2021. Masks, social distancing and other protocols specified by the Department of Health, including guidelines on air filtration and purification standards apply. All 13 of AMC Entertainment multiplexes in NYC will reopen on Friday with screenings including Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland (Golden Globe Awards for Best Film and Director), Shaka King’s Judas And The Black Messiah (starring Supporting Actor winner Daniel Kaluuya), Kevin Macdonald’s The Mauritanian (starring Tahar Rahim with Supporting Actress winner Jodie Foster), Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman (starring Carey Mulligan), Paul Greengrass’s News Of The World (co-written with Luke Davies, starring Tom Hanks), Robin Wright’s Land, and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet (production design by Nathan Crowley).

AMC Entertainment multiplexes in New York City will reopen on Friday
AMC Entertainment multiplexes in New York City will reopen on Friday Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Film at Lincoln Center’s theatres will remain closed for now. UniFrance and FLC’s 26th Rendez-Vous with French Cinema celebration kicks off tomorrow, March 4 with a virtual screening of Sébastien Lifshitz’s Little Girl (Petite Fille). In 2020, the 25th edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in New York was abruptly halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Rebecca Zlotowski’s An Easy Girl (Une Fille Facile) on March 12, 2020 was the last screening of the festival. New York City cinemas have been closed ever since.

The IFC Center in New York (which will have the theatrical premiere of Jayro Bustamante’s Oscar-shortlisted, haunted La Llorona) sent the following notice in preparation for the reopening on Friday:

“After a twelve-month closure, the State of New York is allowing NYC cinemas to reopen on March 5, and we will do everything we can to make the theatre as safe as possible. We're thrilled to announce that IFC Center will reopen next Friday, March 5. We can't wait to welcome you back to the theatre, and we'll have more news about our programming and schedule in the coming days. In the meantime, however, you can expect to notice some changes in our operations to allow us to follow all the enhanced safety guidelines provided by the state, including: Mandatory face coverings throughout the building at all times - Reserved seating with at least 6 feet of distance between occupied groups of seats - High-quality air filtration - Reduced capacity throughout the complex - Online and contactless ticketing - And more!”

Film Forum has plans to reopen on Friday, April 2. Josh Siegel, Curator at the Department of Film at the Museum of Modern Art says nothing has yet been decided on a reopening of their cinemas to the public. Metrograph is still working out details on when they will reopen to the public.

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