Movie theater stocks came to life Monday night after the New York governor said that networks in New York City could reopen next week with Covid-related restrictions.
It was the news some beleaguered investors were waiting to hear.
AMC Entertainment Holdings
(ticker: AMC) stocks soared 14.9% in afternoon trading and rose another 9.6% in after-hours trading.
Chief Executive Officer Adam Aron said in a statement that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement “is another important step in restoring the health of the film industry and our company.”
AMC will reopen its 13 locations in the city on March 5. Capacity is limited to 25%, with no more than 50 people per screen.
While they may open locations across the country, AMC and other theater operators have been unable to operate in big cities like New York and Los Angeles due to public health restrictions. And without large blockbuster audiences, movie studios have turned to streaming new releases for home audiences.
The reopening of New York City looks like a new chapter for theaters. AMC has been rushing in recent months to shore up its cash position in order to weather the pandemic. AMC shares were also engulfed in a trading frenzy by retail investors who encouraged each other via a Reddit forum to trade stocks using the Robinhood app.
Shares (IMAX) also rose 5.6% on Monday to a new 52-week high and rose another 0.9% after the close.
Shares of (CNK) were up 6% during the day and 2.5% after the close.
AMC is still down 12% for a year compared to a year-long gain of 16% for the S&P 500. IMAX is up 21% from last year, while Cinemark is down 20%.
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