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Feb 22 (Reuters) - Movie theaters in New York City can reopen on March 5 at 25% capacity with no more than 50 people per screen, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday.
"Assigned seating, social distancing and other health precautions will be in place," Cuomo wrote in a tweet.
The lockdowns imposed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have hurt theater operators.
Many including cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings AMC.N are struggling to stay afloat even as big studios Walt Disney DIS.N and Warner Bros decided to release movies directly on online streaming platforms.
"New York City is a major market for moviegoing in the U.S., re-opening there gives confidence to film distributors in setting and holding their theatrical release dates," the National Association of Theatre Owners said in a statement.
Movie theaters outside of New York City were allowed to reopen on Oct. 23 after a months-long hiatus spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.
"We look forward to expanding the capacity from 25% to 50% in the very near future so that theatres can operate profitably," the association said.
Shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings closed higher at 13%, while those of Cinemark Holdings closed up at 9.2%.
(Reporting by Maria Caspani, Chavi Mehta and Lisa Richwine, Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Arun Koyyur)
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