As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip the world, the UK government today ‘suggested’ that the general public avoid bars, clubs, theatres and cinemas. In reaction to the suggestion the Society Of London Theatres have decided to shut down theatres across the city.
In a statement, they wrote: ‘We regret to announce that from this evening SOLT and UK Theatre venues have closed in light of official government advice. Your box office/retailer from whom you bought your tickets will be in contact with regards to refunds and exchanges.’
We regret to announce that from this evening SOLT and UK Theatre venues have closed in light of official government advice. Your box office/retailer from whom you bought your tickets will be in contact with regards to refunds and exchanges. Read more: https://t.co/k4ENR118JU pic.twitter.com/cxsLHIMKW5
— Official London Theatre (@london_theatre) March 16, 2020
Boris Johnson’s decision not to order closure of theatres and bars was met with anger from he hospitality industry, as they feared they would no be able to seek for compensation for loss of earnings during this period. The Phoenix Theatre in London posted on their Facebook page urging their regulars to write to the PM. They write: ‘Please write/email/tweet to the Government UK Prime Minister now and ask them to FORCE pubs, clubs, theatres and cinemas to close. Advising all “to avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and cinemas” means that none of these businesses will get ANY insurance when WE have to take the decision to close, leaving the impossible decision with the business owner. Follow the example of France and Spain, HM Government, and order venues shut so that we are covered by insurance.’
But can the theatre and cinema industry do anything about this situation? We at GuysLikeU hope that they think of ways of continuing to make money to keep theatre and cinema alive. We are suggesting cinema chains and theatres team up with streaming services so that we can still view current releases and productions across the country. That way, money will still roll in for the companies and fans get to enjoy theatre and film during their self isolation.
What do you think? Let’s keep theatre and cinema alive!