Following provincial protocols, the Astor Theatre decides to shutter its doors for two weeks over COVID-19 fears

by Charles Mandel

The Astor Theatre in Liverpool announced on March 14 that it is shutting its doors for two weeks, effective immediately.

In a letter addressed to friends and supporters, the theatre's general manager Sandy Nicholson wrote: "The health and well-being of our visitors, artists, and staff is of paramount importance.

"Effective immediately, following the direction and recommendations from the Premier & provincial public health authorities, the Astor Theatre is discontinuing all live theatre and movie operations until March 31st, 2020.

"There will be no movies or live events at the theatre during this time."

Nicholson's reference to provincial public health authorities relates to new guidelines around public gatherings as Nova Scotia prepares for a potential outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. To date, no cases of the virus have been recorded in N.S.

The Astor is just one of many cancellations and closures across the South Shore, and the province. Everything from museum programming to farmer's markets have shut down in the interim.

Nicholson said the Town Hall Arts and Culture Centre Main Art Gallery would remain open for regular box office hours, and their Chase the Ace draw on Wednesday evenings would continue on and will be streamed live from the Astor Theatre Facebook page.

"Players do not need to be present to win," he noted.

The theatre's box office is also suspending all ticket sales for future live events until the Astor resumes operation.

"Please stay tuned on or before March 31st for more updates as we evaluate the ever-changing situation," Nicholson wrote.

"Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Astor soon."

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