NY bowling alleys, movie theaters still waiting to get things rolling

Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 6:24 PM EDT
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New York's North Country is in phase four of reopening, meaning many businesses are welcoming customers once again. But shopping malls, movie theaters, bowling alleys and gyms still don't know when they can open.

Scott McLaughlin, who owns Lucky Strike Lanes in Malone, says it's frustrating and they've gotten no word form the governor or the state on when they can open back up.

"There is no reason why we can't and the state just won't give us a reason why we can't open," McLaughlin said.

Lucky Strike Lanes is not feeling so lucky as they remain closed. The bowling alley wants to get the ball rolling for their bowlers to come back but the state is leaving them in the gutter.

"I can literally go get my hair cut, I can get a tattoo if I want, I can get plastic surgery but I can't open my bowling center," McLaughlin said. "It makes absolutely no sense."

McLaughlin says they have the space and plans in place to keep people safe, offering bowlers every other lane to stay socially distant.

He hopes to be back open in time for fall leagues.

"The longer this goes on, you are going to see bowling centers not reopen. They are going to close permanently," he said.

It's not just bowling alleys stuck in limbo. Movies theaters, like Cumberland 12, are still closed and unsure when their next showtime will be.

"We are hopeful that we will be open by the end of July, early August," said Craig Cathers of Cumberland 12 Cinemas.

Cumberland 12 Cinemas is banking on being back open when new movie releases start back up after a halt in production from COVID-19.

The cinema trying to make the best of the bad situation and in their time off, fundraising for local food shelves.

"Did a couple of the popcorn drives-- which was very successful-- for the Interfaith Food Shelf, who has been tremendous," Cathers said.

The screen will stay dark for now but once the projector is ready to roll, seating will be assigned to allow for 6 feet in between guests. But they say the experience will be the same.

"The popcorn will still be here and will still be fantastic and the movies will be rolling," Cathers said. "So it will be fun."