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LAKEWOOD — There’s no business like show business, but with COVID-19 shutdowns, the movie theatre business is slow business.
The Lakewood Cinema 8 remains closed even though movie theatres in 48 states are open at at least some capacity.
To voice concerns, the following is posted on the Cinema’s signage.
“48 states have reopened theaters safely why not new York” … “Governor Cuomo reopen our cinemas” … “Warren location is open Friday through Sunday” … “you can safely watch movies again”
Efforts to reach a Lakewood Cinema 8 spokesperson were unsuccessful.
Chautauqua County Executive P. J. Wendel told WNYNews Now that opening up more businesses is not forcing people to use them and people should be able to decide for themselves.
“If we opened everything today, we’re not forcing anyone to do anything,” Wendel said.
“We don’t have an abundance of people crashing our movie theatres and quite honestly there are not a lot of movies being produced right now,” Wendel said.
He stressed that the county government looks at safety as a prime responsibility.
“Our job as a county government is to make sure we’re doing as much as we can safely for all our residents but that means physical and fiscal,” Wendel said.
Wendel said he has proposed several times in the Control Room with Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul to open areas on a county-by-county basis.
“After about a couple of weeks she said “No, that won’t be entertained,’ ” Wendel said. He asked whether the counties should have more autonomy.
Dealing with the state and not being listened to reminds Wendel of childhood in a way.
“It is tough. I think sometimes it goes back to being a child and asking mom and dad and they keep saying ‘No’ ” Wendel said.
He also opined that a county by county basis for reopening would help people stay in touch with loved ones who fear dying alone.
The shutdown was initially to avoid flooding hospitals with COVID patients, he said.
“I think the most we’ve had in a Chautauqua County hospital is six people admitted. We have a capacity of 253,” he said. “Can we open that up to let our residents and their families unite?”
The control that our governor has over our lives makes me realize that we no longer live in a free country. This is absurd.