New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have ordered movie theaters in their respective cities to close in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This is the first time in history that all cinemas have shuttered not due to weather concerns.
New York City also took dramatic steps on Sunday to curb the spread of the virus by closing restaurants, nightclubs, small theater houses and concert venues starting Tuesday at 9 a.m.. Public schools will also be closed at least through April 20, affecting nearly one millions students. Restaurants are limited to only take-out and delivery orders as of March 17.
Los Angeles bars, nightclubs, gyms and entertainment venues will also be closed until March 31, unless extended. Garcetti said grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open. Schools and univerities have already been closed. Los Angeles City does not include the smaller municipalities within Los Angeles County such as Santa Monica, Beverly Hill and Pasadena, so it appears those cities will not immediately be subject to the new policy.
“This is not a decision I make lightly,” de Blasio wrote Sunday night on Twitter. “These places are part of the heart and soul of our city. They are part of what it means to be a New Yorker. But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality.”
He added, “We will come through this, but until we do, we must make whatever sacrifices necessary to help our fellow New Yorkers.”
On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that public events involving more than 50 people be called off for the next eight weeks
Moviegoing in North America plummeted to a 22-year low this weekend as audiences opted to stay home rather than watch Pixar’s Onward, Universal’s The Hunt or Sony’s Bloodshot in a possibly crowded theater. Revenues also took a hit because most theater chains across the country limited the amount of tickets sold per auditorium to avoid crowding.
This leaves television and video games as the media people can look to for art and entertainment, though they also have had major production shutdowns. Now may be a good time to view shows you missed, or maybe read a book or listen to music on SCIFI.radio for a few weeks.
There are also a number of virtual events springing up to replace the physical conventions and meetups that have been cancelled.
We’ll keep you informed. Watch this space.
David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.