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Malverne theater to reopen with 'It's a Wonderful Life'

Malverne Cinema and Art Center will reopen following

Malverne Cinema and Art Center will reopen following coronavirus rules this Friday with screenings of Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946). Current films will also be shown. Credit: Everett Collection

The Malverne Cinema and Art Center will celebrate its reopening Friday with showings of the first film ever to play there, Frank Capra’s 1946 classic, "It’s a Wonderful Life."

Other movies playing at the Malverne will include the Liam Neeson thriller "Honest Thief," the Robert De Niro comedy "The War with Grandpa" and the teen film "Words on Bathroom Walls."

Independent cinemas and large multiplexes alike will reopen their doors on Long Island this weekend, roughly seven months after they were ordered to close by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cuomo announced last Saturday that restrictions on theaters, which have been among the last businesses in New York to reopen, would lift on Friday.

Theaters will be limited to 25% capacity and no more than 50 people per screen, according to policies set forth by Cuomo's office.

The Malverne’s sister theater, the Bellmore Movies, will also open Friday with a screening of the new Bill Murray comedy "On the Rocks." PJ Cinemas in Port Jefferson will not open until the following weekend, according to owner Phil Solomon. The Plaza Cinema and Media Arts Center in Patchogue also will not open Friday. And Long Island’s premier independent theater, Huntington’s Cinema Arts Centre, will be closed for some time as it undergoes renovations.

On Tuesday, two national chains announced their plans for reopening. Showcase Cinemas said it will reopen its Cinema de Lux locations in Holtsville, Hicksville and Farmingdale, while Regal will reopen theaters in Deer Park, Lynbrook and Westbury.

The website for AMC says its eight Long Island cinemas are planning to reopen on Oct. 23 "with new AMC Safe & Clean policies, designed with you in mind. Check back here for updates."

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