Save Our Stages Act looks to help struggling entertainment venues

Theaters struggle to survive the shutdown

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - COVID-19 caused entertainment venues across the country to shut their doors with no set date to reopen.

"As they like to say in the industry, COVID-19 has caused theaters to be the first organizations to shut down and we're going to be the last to reopen," said Nancy March, who is a Fox Tucson Theater Board of Directors Board Member.

The Fox Theater closed in March and will remain closed until at least the end of this year.

"We also can't stay in business much longer closed with no revenue whatsoever," said Bonnie Schock, the Executive Director of Fox Tucson Theater.

The theater has lost a million dollars in ticket sales so far and is continuing to refund tickets for canceled events.

"Relief is needed, it's needed quickly," Schock said. "Many of these venues, like the Fox, are carrying significant operating costs."

The Save Our Stages Act was introduced to the Senate last week. If passed, it would provide a $10 billion grant program for independent venues across the country .

"This act is targeted just for independent venues and that's what makes it so special and it's supported by both sides of the aisle," March said.

Schock said the program would be a gamer changer for independent venues.

"It could be the difference between our live arts and particularly music being able to come back and not," Schock said.

A loss that could carry a hefty economic impact..

"Helps to generate activity in our down towns and helps to bring people together and increase our quality of life," she said.

For now, theaters like the Fox remain dark, but there’s hope for the future that it will be filled with music and people once again.

“Energy exchange between artist and audience and you feel that sort of pulse of people around you. It really is like a connection for us. It’s our shared humanity,” Schock said.

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