Local theaters looking to reopen soon

Local theaters looking to reopen soon

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Some of the last businesses to reopen under Memphis’ Back-to-Business plan are indoor venues. Some theaters have cancelled the rest of their season, and other venues are asking for your help to secure funding.

Memphis is a lot of things.

“We’re a sports town, transportation hub, best food around, but Memphis is nothing without its arts community,” Playhouse on the Square Director of Communications Marcus Cox said.

Some of those spaces providing the art, like theaters and concert venues, aren’t scheduled to reopen until phase three of Memphis’ Back to Business plan.

“Not being able to perform and give out art to the community was definitely a big blow,” Cox said.

Cox said the theater decided last week to cancel the rest of its season.

Nearby venues Hattiloo Theater and Ballet Memphis have had to cancel shows along the way as venues are closed until further notice.

In all, Playhouse had to close or cancel more than a half dozen shows which means more than $100,000 in lost revenue.

In the town of blues and rock and roll, concert venues will take a hit as long as they remain closed. Some Memphis venues have joined the National Independent Venue Association or NIVA to promote the Save Our Stages campaign including Minglewood Hall, The Hi-Tone, Growlers and B-Side.

It’s urging concert-goers to write Congress to tell them independent venues need federal assistance. On its website, NIVA said these venues across the country are set to lose nearly $9 billion if shows are cancelled for the rest of the year.

“Our executive director says rising waters float all boats and that’s how we treat our arts community,” Cox said.

Playhouse on the Square has taken some of its shows online, but it’s eager to reopen, especially in time for season 52 in August, no matter how different reopening may look.

To find out more about the Save Our Stages campaign, click here.

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