Broadway Will Remain Closed For The Rest Of The Year

Hollywood is still hoping against hope that movie theaters can be back up and running this year, but Broadway isn't taking any chances. The Great White Way has been shut down since March 12, and today, The Broadway League announced that Broadway would remain dark until at least January of next year. And one can't help but ask: if it isn't safe enough to reopen Broadway this year, how can it be safe enough to reopen movie theaters?

If you were hoping to catch a Broadway show this year, I have some bad (but necessary) news: Broadway will remain closed for the rest of the year. Per The Broadway League, "Broadway theatres are now offering refunds and exchanges for tickets purchased for all performances through January 3, 2021." According to Variety, when Broadway shut down in March, "31 musicals and plays were running, while eight new shows were in preview and another eight were preparing to debut in the spring." While some of those shows may return next year, three shows – including Disney's stage version of Frozen – have said they won't be back.

Regarding the decision, Thomas Schumacher, Chairman of the Board of The Broadway League, said:

"The Broadway experience can be deeply personal but it is also, crucially, communal. The alchemy of 1000 strangers bonding into a single audience fueling each performer on stage and behind the scenes will be possible again when Broadway theatres can safely host full houses. Every single member of our community is eager to get back to work sharing stories that inspire our audience through the transformative power of a shared live experience. The safety of our cast, crew, orchestra and audience is our highest priority and we look forward to returning to our stages only when it's safe to do so. One thing is for sure, when we return we will be stronger and more needed than ever."

Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, added:

"Our membership is working closely with the theatrical unions and in concert with key experts and some of the greatest minds inside and outside of the industry to explore protocols for all aspects of reopening. We are focused on identifying and implementing necessary measures that will enable us to resume performances safely for Broadway audiences and employees. We are determined to bring back the people who rely on this industry for their livelihood, and to welcome back all those who love this vital part of New York City, as soon as it is safe to do so. As so many of us in the Broadway community have been saying during this time – We'll be back, and we have so many more stories to tell."

While this is no doubt a tough decision, it's the right one. And hey, if you have Disney+, you'll be able to catch some Broadway action this week when the filmed version of Hamilton premieres. Now...the ball's in your court, movie theaters.