After a long, harrowing year of being closed, movie theaters have finally reopened in New York City. If you ask people what they’ve missed the most throughout the pandemic, almost 75% of them would answer: going to the movies. I definitely belong to that category, as going to the movies was a cherished weekly activity of mine.
Though the pandemic has not ended yet, and we are still dealing with the repercussions of widespread infection, new variants, and vaccine distribution mismanagement, New York state has decided to move along with the plan of reopening New York’s iconic movie theaters.
Everyone is still required to wear masks throughout the whole movie showing and when indoors at the movie theater. The seating is dispersed in a way that allows for social distancing. Theoretically, this sounds like a big risk to watch a movie, especially given the fact that people have been asked not to gather indoors for more than 15 minutes. So, understandably, many have been feeling conflicted and weird about this decision – some movie theaters even offer a dine-in experience while watching the movie. How can we guarantee that people are adhering to wearing masks and not removing them throughout the movie? We can’t.
That’s why I am still not sure how I feel about this decision. On the one hand, I have missed the beautiful escape of being in a dark theater – there’s something about that experience that you don’t really get while watching a movie at home. But on the other hand, I can’t help but wonder: is it really worth the risk?
If we are to play devil’s advocate, it has been a long and tough year, and it is thrilling to know that some sense of normalcy is beginning to be regained in the pandemic. But we have to remain vigilant and care for others. So, if you want to go to the movies, maybe try to truly keep your mask on the whole time, and wear a double mask!