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A Welcome Sight: More Movie Theaters Reopen Across LA County Friday For First Time In A Year

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – For the first time since shutting down a year ago because of the coronavirus pandemic – crippling the film industry -- several movie theaters across Los Angeles County will open their doors again Friday.

westfield movie theater
People wearing protective masks stand in line to buy tickets at the AMC movie theater at the Westfield Century City shopping mall in Los Angeles, California, U.S. on Monday, March 15, 2021. Improvements in new cases and positivity rates will have more than 90% of the state's population of nearly 40 million residents out of the most restrictive tier, which indicates what businesses can open and at what capacity, by Wednesday, AP reports. Photographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Under California guidelines, movie theaters could reopen as soon as a county enters the red tier of the state's COVID-19 blueprint. L.A. County was upgraded from the purple to red tier Monday morning.

Almost immediately, AMC Burbank 16 and AMC Century City 15 reopened Monday, while Cinemark also opened 10 L.A.-area locations. Regal has not yet reopened any of its theaters.

Several more AMC theaters are reopening Friday, along with the famous El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.

Under the guidelines, capacity is limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer.

"We do have a public health order that allows us to do 100 guests, 100 seats," El Capitan general manager James Wood told CBSLA Friday morning.

"Our ticketing system has an algorithm, so when you purchase your seats, it's automatically gonna move people six feet away, behind you and to the left and right of you," Wood added.

According to new numbers released in January, film and television production in L.A. during the coronavirus pandemic fell to its lowest point in more than 25 years.

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