© 2022 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
LISTEN ON DEMAND: THIS AMERICAN LIFE tribute to the 10 killed in the Tops Market shootings.

Gyms, malls, movie theaters can’t reopen in NY's Phase Four

Aurora Theatre
Movie theaters, like the Aurora Theatre in East Aurora, cannot open when Phase Four begins in Western New York next week, the state announced Tuesday.

New York state's malls, gyms and movie theaters are not cleared to reopen, a devastating blow to those industries, which were preparing to reopen in Phase Four. 

Robert F. Mujica Jr., the state's budget director, informed local leaders of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision in a conference call on Tuesday afternoon. The news comes just as Western New York gears up to enter Phase Four of reopening next week.


Lynn Kinsella, who runs the Aurora Theatre in East Aurora, said her staff had been preparing to reopen for months.


“We have spent the last three and a half months cleaning, sanitizing, spending hundreds of dollars in order to be prepared for reopening,” she said. “So to find out yesterday, late in the day, that movie theaters were no longer part of Phase Four with no indication of where we would be as far as reopening was frustrating and very disappointing.”


Considering the Aurora has been closed since March 16, Kinsella said she is surprised that the vintage theater hasn’t closed its doors for good.


“We have been really kind of shocked that we've been able to survive thus far,” Kinsella said. 


The theater has been relying on online sales from their gourmet popcorn shop to keep their business afloat, but that income only goes so far.


“It's such a small portion of what we need on a monthly basis to continue operating,” she said.


The state gave no indication of when these industries could reopen. So, for now, their doors are staying shut.