Coachella Valley Theatres Hold-off On Reopening Due To Capacity Limitations

Coachella Valley Theatres Hold-off On Reopening Due To Capacity Limitations

Nico Payne

Don’t expect to see anyone back on stage just yet, a majority of the theaters NBC Palm Springs spoke with on Thursday are planning to reopen closer to that June 15th date, when restrictions are dropped and capacity is increased.

“On one hand this is really great news that they are allowing indoor theatres, but for most of us were at 15% capacity which for a house our size, that’s really only 30 seats,” said Derik Shopinski, Business Manager at Palm Canyon Theatre.

As California clears the way for indoor events to begin again, theatres here in the Coachella Valley are still in the planning stages of when shows will return in person.

With Riverside County in the orange tier, a venue size of 1,500 can allow a capacity of 15% or 200 people. Officials saying that with lower capacity, it doesn’t make sense to rush to open back up

“At 50% capacity which gives us roughly 100 seats, that would be much more viable for us. but we are looking at many options right now,” added Shopinski

Capacity would increase if all guests are able to show proof of vaccination, which the C-V REP playhouse is discussing and preparing for.

“They could actually send us a photograph of their vaccinated card or proof of vaccination in some way. and then we’ll have that on file so that when they buy future tickets we already know they are vaccinated,” explained Ron Celona, Founding Artistic Director with Coachella Valley Repertory.

And just because local theaters aren’t opening right away, it doesn’t mean they aren’t excited to welcome guests back after extended closures.

“I think all theatres around the country are going to have to ease their way into coming back to live theatre. and go with the flow, and start out small and grow from there,” added Celona.

Again, when theaters do reopen proof of vaccination won’t be required at first, but it may help speed up the purchasing process.

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