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Smaller Performance Venues Set To Reopen Next Month In New York: 'We All Want To Be Entertained'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Anticipation is rising for live performances across New York. In about a month, certain venues can start to reopen.

This comes as New York City just got its first delivery of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine.

As CBS2's John Dias reported, it's more than just a special delivery, it's a life-saving one. New York has been eagerly waiting for the single-shot vaccine.

"Doses have already arrived," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.

The mayor said the city has limited supply but should be getting more at the end of the month.

"We're going to be using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine immediately to help homebound seniors," he said.

Meanwhile, hope is on the horizon for the state's entertainment industry.

The lights of performing arts venues were suddenly turned off almost a year ago. But now, smaller select ones have been cast in what could be their greatest comeback role: The new lead in entertaining New Yorkers.

"We're all in this together, and they all want to succeed. It's been a long time. We all want to be entertained," said Hell's Kitchen resident Nicholas Latimer.

Starting April 2, select venues can reopen at 33% capacity, with up to 100 people inside and 200 outside. Those numbers can go up with testing.

The new rules apply to spots like Radio City Music Hall and Lincoln Center, but the concert-touring business requires more capacity. Smaller venues, like comedy clubs, stand to benefit the most.

"We've really been deprived of making a living," Dani Zoldan, owner of the Stand Up NY comedy club, said.

Until capacity can increase, many major Broadway venues still can't open. Performances remain suspended through at least May 30.

"We are delighted that fans will once again be able to experience live performance events through PopsUp. While Broadway productions are not able to return just yet, we're glad that arts venues, including select Broadway theatres, will be able to open their doors and give the public a taste of what we've all been missing so much through these dark months," the Broadway League told CBS2 in a statement.

"It's a start," said Times Square resident Max Weisfield.

Westfield retired to New York City seven years ago with his wife. They moved from Baltimore to right by Broadway.

"Our whole life, we would always come to New York City to go to a restaurant, go to a show," he said. "We said, you know what, let's do that for the rest of our lives."

He can't wait for their retirement to continue the way they planned.

"We've missed it," he added.

When it comes to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the mayor said the city already has 16,000 doses on hand and about 18,000 in transit.

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