Movie theatres are back open in New York, and Liam Neeson has found the perfect way to celebrate.

The actor, who has already received his first dose of the COVID vaccine, made a in-person appearance at the Lincoln Square multiplex on Friday to personally introduce his new movie “The Marksman”.

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“This is one for the diary,” Neeson told The Hollywood ReporterΒ ahead of the premiere. “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.”

The actor also talked about the inspiration to be taken from his late wife Natasha Richardson’s grandparents Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, who continued to star in plays in London during the blitz of the Second World War.

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“People didn’t panic,” Neeson said. “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.

He added, “There is a tiny parallel to what’s happening now. We are being bombarded by these microscopic invisible bombs.”