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Cuomo considers opening drive-in movie theaters

Governor Cuomo considers opening drive-in movie theaters (WHAM photo){p}{/p}
Governor Cuomo considers opening drive-in movie theaters (WHAM photo)

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Gov. Andrew Cuomo is considering opening drive-in movie theaters during the pandemic. He announced Sunday that Empire State Development is looking into making drive-ins an exception to the state mandate that all non-essential businesses must be closed.

"Where is the public safety issue? It’s a drive-in theater. You’re in the car with the same people," said Governor Cuomo during his daily briefing.

Paul Dean is the owner of the Vintage Drive In in Avon. He opened the drive-in in 1997 and hopes he can open it again this season.

"This would be an avenue for people to come out and be safe and watch a movie from their car with their family," said Dean. He says if the drive-in can be opened, they would admit fewer cars in order to allow for more space between each car. Concession stands would implement safe social distancing practices as well.

Dean says watching a movie at a drive-in isn't the same from streaming movies at home. He adds that more people attend drive-in movie theaters than they did ten years ago.

"It’s more popular than ever right now. People are always looking for ways to spend time with their families," said Dean.

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Even though spring and summer movie releases are pushed to next year, Dean says the theater will screen retro movies and movies that have a late winter release. Dean says he has applied for the drive-in to be an exception to the state mandate, but he is still waiting on a response.

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