Shows will not go on at venues after coronavirus crowd ban

SEATTLE — The show will not go on at performance venues like 5th Avenue Theater.

“Sister Act”, which was supposed to open Saturday night, is now canceled at least through the end of March due to the governor’s ban on crowds over 250 people to slow the spread of coronavirus.

“This is such an uncertain time,” said Bernie Griffin, Managing Director at 5th Avenue Theater.

That uncertainty, according to Griffin, means a loss of $1 million for the month of March.

>> Seattle-area events affected by the coronavirus ban

Rather than a refund, she’s asking that ticketholders make a donation in support.

“Please consider giving that to the theater. If you're able to make a gift and then come back when we're open for biz,” Griffin added.

Venues, like the Showbox, are now scrambling to let ticketholders know shows are postponed. Band "Third Eye Blind" was supposed to perform Wednesday.

The same is happening at the Paramount Theater where some fans learned in person rock legend Patti Smith won't be taking the stage.

“I'm hoping for a show and you know if I don't get the money back, if she gets the money I'm fine,” said Red Reddick of Seattle.

The ban is a hit to arts organizations like the Pacific Northwest Ballet. “One Thousand Pieces," scheduled to open on Friday, and “Beauty and the Beast” have both been canceled.

>>Updates on coronavirus in Washington

“We're pretty heartbroken,” said Ellen Walker, Executive Director of PNB.

PNB schools in Seattle and Bellevue are also shut down right now.

Walker said she understands the importance of social distancing but worries about the long term effects coronavirus will have on arts and culture in Seattle.

“We were already struggling as a sector with increased expenses in this particular area, with audiences that haven't grown as much as our region has grown,” Walker explained.

PNB is also asking ticketholders to donate the cost of their tickets as a show of support.

As a small consolation, PNB will stream its dress rehearsal. Ticketholders will be getting more information about this in the coming days.

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