BALTIMORE, Md — The Hippodrome has had to close its doors before but nothing could have prepared them for the impact of Covid-19.
Ron Legler is the President of the France Merrits Performing Arts center and says its a very tough time for the industry .
"Honestly to us its like the bottom dropped out. With Hamilton so successful and our engagement we had a full sold out four week run of Hamilton last summer, so this summer is very very different for us. Since Wicked ended in early March, we have had nothing. There's been no patrons, no sales, no nothing from the time that Wicked left." said Legler.
They have now been closed for more than 100 days with plans to re- open in January.
"We all have our targets set on that but that target has moved from July, August to January and I just urge everyone to stay safe, wear your mask, we've got to come through this as a country. We all have to work together. We need each other now more than ever." said Legler
While the Hippodrome is currently closed, they are using this time to work on upgrades and maintenance. "We're partnering with Lifebridge health to talk about what makes the building the safest. We're going to use them to make sure the building is as safe as it can be when we do reopen, from HVAC issues to UV lighting to temperature taking and mask wearing of course and we're doing everything we can to be prepared. And unfortunately, we don't have answers. It's a daily change. We're working with the industry and the Broadway league and all of our other Broadway partners across the country to make sure that when we do come back we're going to be as safe as we possibly can be for our actors, patrons and our community."
As virtual performances become the new normal, Legler says there is simply nothing like seeing theater live. "There's no television experience or movie experience that could ever replace being in a room with 2300 strangers and leaving friends. It's the most powerful thing you'll ever do. "
Legler says the Hippodrome will be back, they just needs the patrons to stick with them.