New York City is aiming to fully reopen on July 1, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, indicating plans to lift the COVID-19 restrictions on movie theaters, restaurants and all other businesses that have been in place for more than a year.
“Our plan is to fully reopen New York City on July 1,” de Blasio said Thursday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full strength.” He added that people have gotten vaccinated in “extraordinary numbers,” with 6.3 million people receiving the vaccination to date.
It’s a significant milestone for New York as a whole, one that is especially notable for the movie theater business. In New York City, cinemas are currently operating at 33% capacity, making it difficult for many theater owners to turn a profit. Moreover, it’s made Hollywood players less reluctant to premiere their biggest movies. Once venues in the Big Apple can operate without having to limit the number of patrons, it’s likely that studios will keep release dates for big-budget blockbusters like “F9” and Marvel’s “Black Widow.”
“What we’re seeing is people have gotten vaccinated in extraordinary numbers,” the mayor said. “We’re doing a lot of reach people at the grassroots. We know the vaccination efforts are going to grow and grow. We have to keep working hard at that.”
It’s still unclear, however, when Broadway will return. The mayor has said previously that he expects Broadway and off-Broadway shows to resume production by September. Recovery for the theater industry has been especially challenging because their venues can’t operate profitably without sold-out shows. Moreover, Broadway relies heavily on tourists to buy tickets — and the travel industry has also been impaired by the pandemic. New York City’s Broadway theaters have been closed since March 12, 2020.
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