Movie theaters say it's their turn to reopen

WBEN Newsroom
August 20, 2020 - 2:03 pm

Photo credit Aurora Theatre marquee/WBEN Photo - Tim Wenger

East Aurora, N.Y. (WBEN) - The marquee sign outside the Aurora Theatre in East Aurora was lit up Thursday morning and read, "Reopen our NY cinemas!"

The message is part of a statewide campaign aimed at pressuring New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to issue reopening guidelines for movie theaters across the state, as has been done in dozens of states across the country amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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The historic Aurora Theatre opened its doors in 1925, and on March 16th was forced to close its doors and darken the screen as the COVID-19 shutdowns took hold across New York and the country.   Now, theater operators say, the time is past due for a reopening strategy for movie houses.

#ReopenOurCimemasNY happening now in East Aurora. pic.twitter.com/L1OuYnQLps

— Tim Wenger (@TimWBEN) August 20, 2020

"Without question, we can open safely, just as other theaters have in forty-two other states," says Aurora Theatre proprietor Lynne Kinsella.  The Aurora Theatre sits prominently along the bustling Main Street in East Aurora and is normally a beacon of business and entertainment in a thriving community.  As of now, only the thratre's popcorn shop is open and the business is being sustained by that, fundraisers and also bolstered by last fall's debut of William Fichtner's movie Cold Brook which was filmed in part in Western New York.

"It's not going to last forever," said Kinsella in referencing the creative ways in which she and her husband and business parnter have kept the theatre operating.

New York State Senator Patrick Gallivan says the time is long overdue for the Governor to allow for the safe reopening of movie theaters across the state.  "My message is a simple one.  This is ridiculous."

"I'm calling on the Governor to open this immediately, the industry has a plan in place," said Gallivan.