Governor Andrew Cuomo has been gradually easing restrictions in New York City in recent weeks as Covid-19 positivity rates fall.

In this file photo a closed AMC movie theater is seen near Times Square on October 12, 2020, in New York City.
In this file photo a closed AMC movie theater is seen near Times Square on October 12, 2020, in New York City. (AFP)

Movie theatres in New York City will partially reopen next month, Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced.

Cuomo said cinemas will be able to operate at 25 percent capacity, or up to 50 people per screen, from March 5 – almost exactly a year since they shut.

"Assigned seating, social distancing and other health precautions will be in place," Cuomo wrote on Twitter.

Officials closed movie theaters on March 17 last year as Covid-19 began ravaging America's commercial capital, where the disease has now killed almost 29,000 people.

READ MORE: New York now epicentre of US coronavirus outbreak

In a statement sent to AFP, AMC's CEO Adam Aron announced that the chain's 13 movie theatres in New York would reopen on March 5.

AMC is the biggest cinema chain in the United States.

But Andrew Elgart, who owns three independent movie theatres in New York, told AFP he probably would not reopen on March 5, although he is considering the possibility of doing so later.

He said it wasn't clear that reopening would be profitable under the current pandemic conditions.

Cuomo has been gradually easing restrictions in New York City in recent weeks as positivity rates fall.

Limited indoor dining returned on February 12, with restaurants allowed to seat customers indoors at 25 percent capacity.

Large arenas, including sports stadiums, are able to reopen at 10 percent capacity this week.

The New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets are set to play in front of 2,000 fans at their respective home games at Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center on Tuesday.

New York City's seven-day rolling average of positive test results is hovering above the four percent mark, down from more than six percent in early January, according to state figures.

READ MORE: Coronavirus deadliest in New York's black and Latino areas – data

Source: TRTWorld and agencies