Liam Neeson will personally welcome fans to a screening of his new movie
The 68-year-old actor will be at the AMC Lincoln Square in New York on Friday (05.03.21) evening to personally thank moviegoers for buying a ticket to see 'The Marksman' at the multiplex, which is one of many cinemas in the city reopening this weekend after belong closed for almost a year due to the coronavirus pandemic
8 March 2021
He told The Hollywood Reporter: "This is one for the diary. It will be nice to welcome people. I think going to the cinema is a bit of a sacred experience. I've felt that way since I was a kid."
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Liam compared the situation with cinemas to theatres in London's West End during the World War II blitz, where actors of the time included his late wife Natasha Richardson's grandparents, Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson.
He said: "People didn’t panic. Sometimes, the plays would stop and Sir Michael would go down to the orchestra pit and start playing the piano and do singalongs.
"Vanessa Redgrave, who was my wife’s mum, would tell us that story over the years and I’d think, ‘wow, that’s extraordinary.'
"There is a tiny parallel to what's happening now. We are being bombarded by these microscopic invisible bombs."
Movie bosses are hopeful New York's decision to reopen theatres - albeit in a limited capacity - will help the box office in its recovery and encourage studios to stop delaying the release of their biggest films.
Tom Ortenberg, chief of Open Road/Briarcliff, which is distributing 'The Marksman' in the US, said: "The reopening of New York is a strong symbolic gesture to the theatre-going audience that it is okay to put your toe in the water."
Joe Masher, who runs the greater New York chapter of the National Association of Theater Owner and owns Bowtie Cinemas, which has theatres in New York , Connecticut, Maryland and Virginia, added: "The consumer appetite is there.
"New York City theatres reopening will provide the studios impetus to release their bigger movies."
Cinemas in San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area have also been given the greenlight to reopen, while Los Angeles - the US' biggest market - theatres are expected to follow in the coming months.