Movie theaters outside of New York City can reopen starting Oct. 23 with limited capacity and pandemic safety rules in place, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday said.
The move marks the reopening of one of the final gathering locations in the state and comes as major movie theater chains have signaled the heavy losses due to the pandemic could force them to close for the foreseeable future.
The release of major blockbuster films, including the latest James Bond movie, has been postponed until next year.
The rules announced by Cuomo on Saturday require theaters to operate at 25% capacity and limit 50 people per screen.
Theaters opening outside of New York City can only do so in counties where there no "hot spot" clusters and have daily infection rates of below 2% over a 14-day average.
Masks must be worn inside theaters at all times except when seated an eating and drinking.
Assigned seating will be required at all times in theaters and additional safety will be required to control occupancy, traffic and seating rules. Theaters will also be required to meet enhanced air filtration and ventilation standards.