Movie Theaters in Los Angeles & New York Ordered Closed
New York mayor Bill de Blasio and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti have both ordered movie theaters, restaurants, bars, cafes, nightclubs, small theater houses, and concert venues to be closed temporarily due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (via Vital Thrills). Take-out and delivery are still being allowed.
De Blasio issued the following statement: “Our lives are all changing in ways that were unimaginable just a week ago. We are taking a series of actions that we never would have taken otherwise in an effort to save the lives of loved ones and our neighbors. Now it is time to take yet another drastic step. The virus can spread rapidly through the close interactions New Yorkers have in restaurants, bars and places where we sit close together. We have to break that cycle.
“Tomorrow, I will sign an Executive Order limiting restaurants, bars, and cafes to food take-out and delivery. Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues must all close. The order will go into effect Tuesday, March 17 at 9:00 AM. This is not a decision I make lightly. These places are part of the heart and soul of our city. They are part of what it means to be a New Yorker. But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality.
“We will come through this, but until we do, we must make whatever sacrifices necessary to help our fellow New Yorkers.”
Garcetti Tweeted: “These are the emergency steps we are taking to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 & protect people across LA, effective at midnight tonight. This isn’t easy & I don’t make this decision lightly. We will do everything we can to help businesses & workers impacted during this time.”
Theater chains like AMC Theaters, Cineplex, Cinemark, and Regal Cinemas have implemented a policy cutting back seating by at least 50%. Marcus Theatres will follow suit by limiting seating capacity beginning March 18. Alamo Drafthouse has already closed locations in Brooklyn and Yonkers. The remaining theaters that are open will include a gap in between seats.