Broadway to stay closed until at least September

New York (AFP) –


New York's beloved Broadway theaters will not reopen until at least early September, its trade association announced Tuesday.

While the Broadway League did not set a date for performances to resume, they said refunds and ticket exchanges now are offered for performances through September 6.

The decision is not particularly surprising given that New York remains the US epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with COVID-19 continuing to kill more than 150 people a day in the state.

Reopening the arts and entertainment sectors, a major feature of life in New York, is in the final phase of Governor Andrew Cuomo's four-part plan to return economic and cultural activity to the state.

"While all Broadway shows would love to resume performances as soon as possible, we need to ensure the health and well-being of everyone who comes to the theater -- behind the curtain and in front of it -- before shows can return," said Charlotte St. Martin, the Broadway League's president, in a statement.

Along with virtually all events in the city Broadway's theaters shut in mid-March, when 31 productions were running and eight were in rehearsals with spring opening dates.

The shuttering of the city's most bankable tourist attraction is a major blow: in normal times, those theaters would be raking in $33 million a week in ticket sales.