Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday that movie theaters outside New York City will be allowed to reopen with plenty of restrictions.

Cuomo said theaters in counties with a COVID-19 positivity rate below 2-percent for a period of 14-days and have no cluster zones will be able to re-open starting on October 23rd, as long as they follow certain restrictions.

-Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating.

-Assigned seating will be required.

-Social distancing between parties will be required at all times.

-Additional staffing will be required to control compliance.

-Theaters will be required to meet enhanced air filtration, ventilation, and purifications standards.

Cuomo added that the theaters must operate at 25-percent capacity, up to 50 people per theater.  During Saturday's press briefing, Cuomo said, "I'm not sure what that means." Little Falls Valley Cinema Twin owner, Chris Anderson said he feels it means if the facility has 8 movie screens inside 8 theaters within that single location, that each individual theater would be allowed up to 50 people; but, only if that met the 25-percent requirement.

Valley Cinema Twin marquee in Little Falls. They're ready to open after being closed due to COVID-19. October 17, 2020. (Photo by Devan Durkee for TSM)

Will Anderson open in Little Falls next week? "If there's a film, we'll open on the 23rd," he said. Anderson explained that a theater his size might have difficulty getting the blockbuster films because he only has two screens with a capacity of 160 each. Under the standards, that means he can only put 40 people into each theater.

"We're ready to roll though," said Anderson. "We're following all the standards, we have Plexiglas, we've added the required ventilation, we're ready," he added. However, Anderson said the 25-percent limit will be difficult to manage because not only have his costs not gone down, but they've increased. "But Anything is better than nothing, where we are right now," he said.

Concessions area at Valley Cinema Twin in Little Falls. They;'re ready to open after being closed due to COVID-19. October 17, 2020. (Photo by Devan Durkee for TSM)

Movie theaters in New York have been closed since the shut down in March. Based on COVID-19 positivity numbers, this opening would also clear the way for movie theaters in Rome and New Hartford to open.