https://www.faithwire.com/2021/02/23/amc-stock-rises-as-new-york-gov-andrew-cuomo-allows-theaters-to-begin-reopening/

Stocks for movie theaters saw a spike this week as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, announced he is allowing certain chains in New York City to reopen, if they follow his COVID-19 safety rules.

NYC movie theaters, which have been shut down for a year, will be permitted to reopen their doors March 5, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Cuomo will allow theaters to operate at 25% capacity, or up to 50 people.

The governor’s permission slip for theaters came Monday, when he announced he will also allow arcades, trampoline parks, and laser tag facilities to reopen March 26. He gave his blessing for outdoor amusement parks, too, which can reopen — at a very limited capacity — on April 9.

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AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron said in a statement that all 13 of the company’s locations in New York City will reopen March 5, including AMC Empire 25, the largest cinema in the country.

“Gov. Cuomo’s announcement that movie theaters can reopen in New York City in the first week of March is another important step towards restoring the health of the movie theatre industry and of our company,” Aron said.

He went on to explain that, since AMC began reopening its theaters in August, the company has “welcomed back nearly 10 million moviegoers nationwide without a single reported case of COVID-19 transmission.”

Over the summer, AMC rolled out protocols to limit the maximum number of tickets sold for any showing in order to ensure social distancing, improved its cleaning procedures between screenings, and began disinfecting its facilities with HEPA vacuums each night. The company also upgraded the air filtration systems in its auditoriums. AMC also requires customers to wear masks while seeing movies.

Around 39% of the theaters in North America are currently open. But, now that the New York City market is preparing to reopen, it’s likely Hollywood studios will begin releasing its backlog of unreleased films, according to THR.

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The larger Los Angeles market provided about 9% of all box office revenue in 2019. The NYC market carried 7.4%.

Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon” will be the first film to enjoy the reopened NYC market when it debuts March 5.

The stock price for AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc., increased by 14.91% Monday, rising from $5.70 to $6.55 a share. It jumped again to $7.70 a share on Tuesday.

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