For a lot of places and businesses, being shut down due to the current crisis has been hard enough. With no activity going as well as any form of cash flow to deal with, the notion of who is going to survive and who is going to fail brings forth upon the devastation that’s been taking place that has leaped out from nowhere only to bite anyone and everyone hard in the a$$.
As things begin to slowly open up, not everything is running in full capacity. Restaurants will have to limit its capacity as low as 25% of what they used to provide. Some retailers will still offer curbside service but nothing much more. Businesses that are not deemed as “essential” is willing to welcome back its customers, assuming that they are going to even show up! With the notion of having those learning how to make do with what they have, they have learned that going through the “waist-not-want-not” method of progression has become their revised normal. This just means that they may no longer hold an interest in coming back to that business in question thanks to learning how to do or have things go as the “smaller-faster-cheaper” methods of life.
And what makes it even worse, many of these businesses that’s been part of their community, both physically and methods that they cater to, could not hold the weight of not working or being able to serve those that want to be served. Many of these establishments were barely operating even before all hell broke loose. Now that the hell has made its escape out in the world as we know it, their ability to operate has before has met its match.
One specific form of business is the performing arts, especially for the live theater production companies and theater spaces. For many generations especially in a town such as Los Angeles where there are a lot of folks that work (or desire to work) in the theater, it was the place to be! From the actors on stage, the crews that work off stage, the technicians that make the theater magic happen, and those that attend the shows as a studio audience, live theater is the experience to take part of. It’s far from just watching a movie, and even father than something to view on a video screen. It’s entertainment that makes its worth while.
Many of these theaters functioned as non-profits, replying upon grants, donations, and whatever they can get from the box office. Some of these places reap in large amounts while others can barley keep their light on!
In last week’s issue, we published a message from the North Hollywood Arts Council over the fate of the theater companies and playhouse that exist on or along the Lankershim and Magnolia Blvd. corridors. They, along with other playhouse, hasn’t performed anything since middle March. A few will become lucky enough to offer something to prove to its patrons that they are still out there. Others may take their leave of absence with the promise to return one day–whenever that “one day” will be! And a few will close its doors for the final time, never to return.
And it’s not just the theater companies that’s in trouble. Many other smaller retail based outlets face this same challenge. The ol’ mom-and-pop places faced tough times even before the virus took its hold. Anything done on-line was its mortal enemy. But because people were forced to stay at home, or those that stayed in place by choice, doing stuff on-line was easy, fast, and most of all, convenient! After all, who would not want to have bragging rights to admit that they were able to binge watch the entire run of Tiger King on Netflix while totally drunk–and to get away with it! And what about the notion of buying a closet full of clothes through Amazon while not even wearing any? The list goes onward and upward!
So as the spring season blends into the “official” start of summer, it’s going to be a hearty game of “wait and see”! By the time this entire event blow over (whenever that’s going to be), everyone will find out who’s here, who’s different, and who’s done and gone. It will indeed be part of the last man standing. Even if that “man” isn’t a man, woman, or even a beast! It’s just those that are part of the luck of the draw!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
As businesses slowly open up as close as to full capacity, so will the theater community–stating for both live stage shows as well as those moving picture houses. As things stand, they are all presently arranging their opening strategies on when (and how) that will take place.
When that moment comes to light, we will once again resume our weekly listing of news and reviews from the stage and moving theater domains. Those days will really arrive soon! We promise!!
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