The Broadway decision stems from Cuomo’s decision to ban gatherings with 500 people or more, beginning on Friday. For facilities with occupancy of 500 or fewer, their legal capacity will now be capped at 50%, per Cuomo’s tweet on the subject.
“For Broadway theaters in Manhattan, these rules will go into effect at 5pm TODAY,” Cuomo tweeted, meaning Thursday, March 12. “We have already spoken to the theaters about these new measures and they agreed.”
For Broadway theaters in Manhattan, these rules will go into effect at 5pm TODAY.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 12, 2020
We have already spoken to the theaters about these new measures and they agreed.
While Broadway theaters are no longer holding performances, many off-Broadway performances, which have a seating capacity of less than 500 people by definition, will continue running, though will exist under the new occupancy regulations.
In addition, the Metropolitan Museum, Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, and the New York Philharmonic also announced that they will be closing due to instructions of social distancing, per The New York Times.
The entertainment industry has been impacted by coronavirus concern, particularly in the case of live performances. Music festivals Coachella and Stagecoach, both set to be held in April, are now postponed until October. Miami’s Ultra Music Festival was cancelled. LiveNation, a major concert producer, suspended all events for the next month. Television programs typically filmed in front of a live studio audience, such as The View, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Jeopardy! are now playing to empty seats.
TV shows like The Morning Show, Survivor, The Amazing Race, and Riverdale have had production suspended over COVID-19 concerns. Production on Baz Lurhmann’s Elvis Presley-focused film was halted after star Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson were confirmed to have the coronavirus. Some films, such as A Quiet Place Part II, have pushed back their release dates due to possibility that people will not be able to, or not wish to, attend large gatherings in movie theaters.
While seeing live theater or participating in larger cultural events may be unavailable right now, the hope is that this social distancing will help stop the spread of the coronavirus. At least, for now, there’s always Netflix.