Broadway theaters are forced to close for fear of coronavirus


NEW YORK, Mar 12 (Reuters) – Broadway theaters, one of New York’s top attractions, closed for a month on Thursday in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the city.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on all gatherings of more than 500 people beginning Thursday night. Most Broadway theaters have a capacity of about 1,000 attendees.

The Broadway League said in a statement that the shows will be suspended until April 13. That will include works like “Hamilton”, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

The decision is part of a series of extraordinary measures taken in the country’s largest city. About 328 people in New York have the disease, Cuomo said.

The spread of the virus has already led to the cancellation of dozens of events in the American entertainment industry, including the Coachella and South by Southwest festivals, CinemaCon, the E3 video game convention, and the Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the Rock And Roll.

On Wednesday, an usher who had worked in two theaters in New York tested positive for coronavirus. The owners of the two venues said they had ordered deep cleanings and that their shows would go ahead on Wednesday.

The talk shows “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” said they will record their broadcasts in New York without an audience.

Various Broadway plays and musicals have previously banned some actors from greeting their fans and signing shows at the door of theaters.

Some 14.8 million tickets were sold for Broadway plays in the 2018-2019 season that ended in May, with revenue of $ 1.8 billion at the box office, according to the Broadway League. About 63% of attendees were tourists from outside the United States or New York.

(Additional report by Alicia Powell and Jonathan Allen. Edited in Spanish by Lucila Sigal)