There’s a chance the curtain could rise on Broadway in the next few months.
A year after Broadway theaters closed indefinitely, New York City officials are planning for shows to safely return in September, Bloomberg News reported.
The city plans on setting up a vaccination site for theater workers over the next month, according to the report. Pop-up testing units are also in the works, as well as discussions on how to manage crowds before and after performances.
The industry plays a big role in the city’s economy, bringing in about $14.7 billion in its 2018-2019 season. A large portion of that comes from tourists who haven’t been able to travel due to the pandemic. The hospitality, retail and transportation industries have felt the strain in their absence.
Amid mass vaccination efforts across the country, however, there are early signs that these areas are coming back to life. Hotel occupancy numbers and summer vacation bookings are up, and some developers are planning new hotels in anticipation of a possible travel boom in the next year.
Now, Mayor Bill de Blasio says this will be the year to turn things around, with the cultural sector leading the way. He urged state officials to provide the appropriate guidance surrounding mask-wearing and social distancing around the Broadway reopening.
De Blasio also announced that the city plans to expand its Open Streets program so that restaurants and shops have room to offer outdoor seating and maintain social distancing, the publication reported.
[Bloomberg News] — Cordilia James