Entertainment

New York's Broadway will go dark as restrictions tighten to prevent coronavirus spread

Key Points
  • New York City's Broadway has closed.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has banned gatherings of 500 people or more amid the growing coronavirus outbreak.
  • Ticket holders have been advised to contact their point of purchase in regard to refunds or exchanges if they have tickets for performances from now until April 12.
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NY bans gatherings of more than 500 people, including Broadway

The Great White Way will go dark on Thursday as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo bans gatherings of 500 people or more amid the growing coronavirus outbreak.

"We are taking new actions to reduce the density of people across the state," Cuomo said.

While the entirety of New York state will need to adhere to this new measure by 5 p.m. on Friday, Cuomo said New York City's Broadway theaters will need to do so by 5 p.m. Thursday.

Facilities with an occupancy of 500 or fewer must reduce their capacity by 50%, he said.

"Our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatergoers and the thousands of people who work in the theater industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers, and many other dedicated professionals," Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said in a statement.

"Broadway has the power to inspire, enrich and entertain, and together we are committed to making that vital spirit a reality. Once our stages are lit again, we will welcome fans back with open arms so that they can continue to experience the joy, heart, and goodwill that our shows so passionately express every night."

Ticket holders have been advised to contact their point of purchase in regard to refunds or exchanges if they have tickets for performances from now until April 12. It is unclear when theaters will resume operations.

Broadway is a highly lucrative entertainment industry in the city. Last week ticket sales reached $26.7 million across plays and musical performances, according to Broadway World.

"Hamilton" raked in $2.69 million, the most of any current show on Broadway, while "West Side Story" tallied $1.59 million and the new musical "Moulin Rouge!" hauled in $1.57 million in ticket sales.

Locals make up 35% of Broadway's annual audience while tourists account for 65%, according to The Broadway League.