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Suffolk Theater Plans September 1 Reopening

This comes after the governor announced on Monday that most COVID-19 occupancy restrictions will be lifted on May 19.

Suffolk Theater Plans September 1 Reopening

The Suffolk Theater is hoping to reopen in early September, Riverhead Local reports. This comes after the governor announced on Monday that most COVID-19 occupancy restrictions will be lifted on May 19.

Theaters have been allowed to reopen since March, but at just 33% capacity or a maximum of 100 people. This didn't allow the Suffolk Theater to reopen. The venue's owner Bob Castaldi said that only a 100% capacity reopening would be financially feasible.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said theaters can operate at 100% capacity again beginning May 19, but Castaldi said that unless the six-foot social distancing requirement is also lifted, there will still be problems with reopening.

"To a certain extent, you have to rebuild the vehicle. You can't just turn a key and run," he said. "You have to start from scratch, trying to book acts," he said. The bands and performers all have tour schedules and the theater has to book bands that are in its geographic area. It has to make its availability work with the touring schedules of all the different acts."

At first, Castaldi thought they'd be able to reopen in April, then they thought it would be summer, but now, it seems there is a good chance of a September 1 reopening.

"We know people want to go out and do stuff - whatever it is. They want to start living their lives again," he said.

Read more on Riverhead Local.

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