Broadway Shuts Down Due to Coronavirus

Times Square, Broadway
Johannes EISELE/AFP via Getty Images

A poster on Times Square advertises West Side Story at the Broadway Theater on Feb. 7, 2020 in New York City.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Broadway theaters, which make up NYC's largest tourist industry, will close at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday night (March 12) through April 12.

"Our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatregoers and the thousands of people who work in the theatre industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers, and many other dedicated professionals," Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, said in a press release obtained by Playbill. "Broadway has the power to inspire, enrich and entertain, and together we are committed to making that vital spirit a reality. Once our stages are lit again, we will welcome fans back with open arms so that they can continue to experience the joy, heart, and goodwill that our shows so passionately express every night."

Broadway joins Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art as iconic NYC art institutions that have been temporarily closed due to the overwhelming scare of the coronavirus pandemic. Governor Cuomo tweeted Wednesday that there are 216 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York state, with 52 cases in NYC alone. He also announced in a press conference that starting Friday at 5 p.m. ET, crowds of no more than 500 people will be allowed in the state with the exception of schools, hospitals, public transportation and nursing homes.

The news of Broadway's closure comes two days after producer Scott Rudin announced slashed ticket prices for five of Broadway's hottest showsThe Book of MormonTo Kill a MockingbirdWest Side Story, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Lehman Trilogy, from their standard $200 prices to a $50 steal until March 29. But those performances have been halted at the almost-immediate command of Governor Cuomo.