New York City is reopening movie theaters. Will it help the industry in New Jersey?
Movie theaters in New York City are reopening for the first time in the COVID-19 pandemic, leading some in New Jersey to question if it could give theaters in the state a boost.
The pandemic-related shutdown kept many screens dark and seats empty in New York City.
Joe Masher is president of the National Association of Theater Owners in New York. It is an organization that pushed hard for cinemas in the nation's second-largest moviegoing market to reopen.
“We fought for this day for a long time,” Masher says, adding that he thinks that it could cause a spillover effect for theaters in New Jersey.
“To get New York City open is the first hurdle. Now we have to get Los Angeles open,” he says. “Then studios will start releasing movies toward the traditional style where they’re in exclusivity in theaters for a period of time before they appear on streaming services."
While studios including Paramount and Warner Bros. that have rescinded the 90-day exclusivity for movie theaters have not said whether they will return to it after the pandemic, studios postponing the release of major movies has kept many New Jersey theaters closed. Others are selling fewer tickets.
If New York City being able to reopen its more than 50 movie theaters helps get more new movies onto screens nationally, it could be another step toward recovery at the movies.