PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — While Governor Tom Wolf is allowing entertainment venues to increase occupancy to 15-20 percent, it will do little to help theaters.
Places like the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, O’Reilly Theater, Heinz Hall and the Byham Theater have all been closed since March. The governor’s easing of crowd restrictions isn’t going to change that.
“Our entire operation has been put on intermission,” said Kevin McMahon, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
Like many businesses, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has been ravaged by the pandemic. The organization has lost 75 percent of its revenue.
“To put roughly 400-450 people in the Benedum, our hall seats almost 3,000 people. So it just doesn’t work economically,” McMahon said.
Even if the Bedeum could fill the house, no shows are touring this year and won’t be for a while. Many believe it will probably be 2022 before there are major stage productions.
In the meantime, the organization has to pay the bills and manage about 1 million square feet of property.
Employees have been furloughed and salaries have been cut. But here’s one bright spot. “Hamilton” is booked for January 2022.