After Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement last week that movie theaters will be permitted to reopen, the Bedford Playhouse moved quickly to arrange a “reOpening Weekend” beginning today, Friday, Oct. 23, the first day allowed under the governor’s plan.

Playhouse officials said they will present “a complete lineup of blockbuster films,” including “Star Wars: Episode V-The Empire Strikes Back,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “ La La Land.” A “Brunch and “Bridesmaids”’  movie-themed event featuring a brunch menu prepared by Playhouse chef Gerald Massoud is also planned.

Under Mr. Cuomo’s order, movie theaters outside of New York City can reopen at 25% capacity under rigorous state guidance and enforcement, with no more than 50 people allowed in front of each screen in each theater at once. The county must have a COVID-19 positivity rate of less than 2% on a 14-day average and not have any cluster zones. Westchester currently meets these criteria.

Based on guidance from public health experts and guidelines set by a national organization of theater owners, Bedford Playhouse said it “is putting into action enhanced health and safety measures.” These include a mandatory face covering policy; enforced social distancing except for those in the same household/party; capacity limits; staggered showtimes; and increased cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

“We are thrilled by the outpouring of support from our community over the past several months and can’t wait to get the projectors rolling again,” said Michael “Hoagy” Hoagland, executive director. “We’ve spent this time diligently preparing” for reopening “and are confident that our guests will have a safe and exciting return to the movies.”

Bedford Playhouse Chair Sarah Long added, “We know the arts bring people together. We look forward to welcoming guests back to enjoy the magic of the cinema safely and comfortably.”

The Playhouse Café, which has been open since late summer, plans to host movie-themed special events and tastings each month. A full menu of dine-in and take-away offerings is available on the Bedford Playhouse website, bedfordplayhouse.org.

The Playhouse and Café will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The Playhouse team is also planning additional special events and programs, officials said. Private rentals of the auditoriums and Café will also be available beginning this week.

More information on the safety protocols and showtimes can be found at the Playhouse website. All movie tickets and concessions must be pre-purchased online.

Jeff Morris is a staff reporter at The Record-Review where he covers the Town of Bedford and the Katonah-Lewisboro School District. Prior to joining the paper he was a reporter and columnist for the Lewisboro Ledger and a business magazine editor.

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