Dare we say that the light seems to be shining at the end of the tunnel? Major Broadway theaters in New York and Off-Broadway theaters across the country have been holding their collective breath. Could the vaccine really mean it is the beginning of the end for the entertainment industry shutdown?
Where Broadway Stands Now
Since March 12, 2020 all forty-one Broadway theaters have been closed. This does not even include the hundreds of Off-Broadway venues and community theaters that also shuttered their doors in response to COVID-19.
After months of waiting, it was decided that ticket sales would be put on hold until May 2021. This has been a long, arduous wait for theater lovers, vendors, actors, and all the people employed either directly or indirectly by the entertainment industry. In fact, many small businesses that make their livelihood from this industry may not survive until that specified date.
The Dawn of Vaccines
Starting with the MRNA Pfizer Vaccine in mid-December and the Moderna vaccine in late December, theater goers have seen a spark of hope. If audience members can be vaccinated then theaters can reopen, actors and support staff can be re-employed, and things could (dare we say it) go back to normal?
The answer is not so simple according to the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci. There are quite a few variables that will need to be taken into account before we can be out of the woods and getting back to the activities we enjoy so much, such as attending a Broadway theater show.
Fauci says opening theaters will depend “on the uptake of vaccines by the people of the country and specifically the people of New York.” He estimates that between 75 and 85 percent of people would need to get vaccinated before life could begin to get back to some semblance of normal.
Where Americans Stand on the Vaccine
A November poll from Gallup found 58 percent of Americans would get the COVID-19 vaccine when available. This number, of course breaks down by region of the country, ethnicity, and even political affiliation.
Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, went on to state that if Americans, “get vaccinated through April, May, and June, and really do a full-court press to get everybody vaccinated, you can get back to normal, or at least approaching close to normal, as you get into the late summer and early fall.”
Continue to follow the rollout of this vaccine here and see how the success of this program will positively impact the theater and entertainment industry.