Theaters Get Creative to Engage Remote Audiences

Theaters Get Creative to Engage Remote Audiences

Hopewell Theater was featured in this article by Joe Emanski on U.S. 1 on January 13, 2021.

The stages went dark before almost anyplace else.

In early March 2020, few people knew what to think about the looming COVID-19 pandemic. Few had any idea of the radical changes the coronavirus was about to impose on us all — or for how long those changes would stick.

Among the first to get a true sense of how difficult things might get were entertainment venues: theaters, movie houses, live music stages. By the time Gov. Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 107 closing all venues on March 16, many had already made the decision to shutter temporarily.

They closed because they were concerned about their ability to keep employees and performers safe in cozy indoor spaces. But they were also faced with the fact that people were unsure about how they might catch the virus, how deadly it was, and what was and was not safe to do. Because of that, patrons were already staying away.

Now it’s 2021, and in New Jersey, as in many places around the country, those patrons still haven’t been back. Nine months and counting since theaters and other entertainment spaces have been able to book musicians, movies and plays, or pack the house with happy crowds.

Yet many are still in business, with hopes to reopen in the not too distant future. How have they done it?

Read the full article here.