Movie theaters are back! Starting Friday, movie theaters and other indoor performance venues in New Jersey will be allowed to reopen for the first time since they were shut down in March due to COVID-19 thanks to an executive order signed by Gov. Phil Murphy.
The new rules require everyone inside the venue to wear face masks except when eating and drinking and be socially distanced. Capacity will be capped at the lesser of either 25 percent capacity or 150 people. Every showing and theater in a multi-plex will be subject to capacity limits. If a venue has four screens, each screen will be held to the lesser of either 25 percent capacity or 150 people.
“We are able to take all these steps today because of the hard work millions of you have done to keep pushing down our positivity rate and our rate of transmission, and all the other health metrics we follow, to where we are comfortable and confident in taking them,” Murphy said during his COVID-19 news conference on Monday.
He urged New Jerseyans to remain vigilant in taking precautions against the spread of COVID-19 as movie theaters, indoor dining and schools reopen. “There is no room for error and no excuse for being a knucklehead,” Murphy said.
Families and groups in the same party will be allowed to sit next to one another in the theater. All ticket holders must remain at least six feet apart from anyone outside their party. Prior to Murphy’s announcement, movie theaters had already opened in neighboring states.
The news about movie theaters and other indoor performance venues came on the same day Murphy announced that indoor dining can also resume at 25 percent capacity starting this Friday.
In other news, Murphy announced he is increasing the capacity limits for indoor gatherings to the lesser of either 25 percent capacity or 150 people for religious services and celebrations, weddings, funerals, memorial services and political activities.