New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced movie theaters outside of New York City can reopen on Friday at 25% capacity, leaving city theaters increasingly concerned about their businesses' survival.
“We can't afford it,” Gregg Scarola, who owns Atrium Stadium Cinema on Staten Island, told FOX Business Network's “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” Monday.
“I'm in a lucky position," Scarola added. "I'm in a major market… So, yes, I'll be able to hold on. But the mom-and-pop theater in central New York, they're going to struggle.”
According to Scarola, the ongoing shutdown of theaters in New York City, a market that accounts for 7 to 10% of the gross domestic box office, will cause movie studios to push back their production schedules further.
Meanwhile, he added, more than two-thirds of all are forecast to close their doors as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.
“They're closing as it is,” Scarola said. “It's hard for them to keep up with the changes in the industry to begin with. But having a waiting game ... They still have got to pay rent. They still got to pay taxes. They still have to pay insurance. These numbers keep on growing and there's nothing coming in.”
Scarola pointed out no COVID-19 outbreaks worldwide have been linked to movie theaters and told host Neil Cavuto that while safety comes first in any business, reopening at 25% is better than nothing.
“We can survive on 25%,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that if there is a movie that comes out and most of the people ... want to see the movie, they'll show up ... Put out some good product, the people come back to the theaters.”
“The industry has been around for 120 years. We've survived the Great Depression, World War II,” he continued. ‘People want to go to the movies, there's no doubt about it. It's a cheap form of entertainment. Let's get them back in the seats.”