For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the curtains are raised for theaters in Minneapolis – WCCO


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Thursday, life returns in two well-known theaters in Minneapolis.

Spectators will walk through the gates of the Guthrie and the Orpheum and fill the seats inside for the first time in 18 months.

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The Guthrie Theater lost around $ 28 million in revenue by shutting down for as long as needed during the pandemic. The theater has also laid off 80% of its staff.

“I’m so excited that we’re going to be able to welcome people into the theater and of course safely into the theater,” said CEO James Haskins. “But I think it’s going to be a really emotional moment.”

What helped them survive it all was $ 7 million in combined federal loans and generous donations from the public. But what’s really going to put them back on their feet is the people buying tickets to shows.

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“The income generated will always be greatly appreciated, but what I would love to do is just get people back inside the theater,” Haskins said. “People buy tickets and come together to share the joy and celebration in the spirit of being in the safest possible environment we can create for people.”

The play “What the Constitution Means to Me” opens at the Guthrie on Thursday evening. The theater’s beloved production “A Christmas Carol” will return in November.

Across downtown Minneapolis, the Orpheum lights will come back on Thursday night along with a three-week broadcast of “Disney’s Frozen.”

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Tickets for both productions are still available. Masks and proof of a COVID-19 test or vaccination will be required at both theaters.

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