BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Kathleen Lyon, the co-owner of Baltimore’s historic Senator Theatre, posted a video of the lights going up on the stage—in anticipation of reopening Friday.
Lyon said they will reopen Friday for 25 people only per auditorium to see the movie “Tenet.”
Lyon noted the extensive investment that has been made at the Senator with touchless technology for ordering concessions—and other safety measures in place.
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“We are unsure by what metrics theaters are being evaluated,” Lyon told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren. “We look at casinos that have been open for months. We look at gyms that have been open for months and indoor dining at restaurants. …We seem to be among the only businesses ordered closed without a real sense of why.”
Stage 3 means theaters and outdoor entertainment can reopen where allowed in the state at half capacity along with increased capacity at stores and churches.
“The governor’s orders allow local jurisdictions to have authority to decide when to move between phases, and we will exercise that authority,“ Baltimore City Mayor Jack Young said during a press conference Wednesday morning. “While some parts of the state may feel ready to move into Stage 3, that is not the case for Baltimore City. The data for Baltimore looks promising and we expect to move to Phase 2 next week, which means 50 percent indoor dining capacity.“
The mayor did not provide more details. He also warned people not to gather in large groups for the upcoming Labor Day weekend.
The governor said contact tracing information statewide shows 41 percent of new infections are tied to family gatherings.
“We do not want to erase the gains we have made over the past month by loosening restrictions now,“ Mayor Young said.
Howard, Cecil, Harford, and Baltimore Counties are moving to Stage 3.
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) September 2, 2020
Other counties like Montgomery are joining Baltimore City in putting the brakes on reopening.
“I get the desire to open businesses. I would love to have the tax revenue, but I don’t want the tax revenue if the price to be paid is more sick people,” Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said during a virtual press briefing Wednesday.
Elrich said the governor’s decision to move to the next stage was a surprise, and he had no prior briefing from the governor’s office before the move was announced during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Maryland’s critical health metrics remain low and stable, with a seven-day average positivity rate of 3.36%, 370 total #COVID19 hospitalizations, and 113 ICU beds in use. Let’s continue to make Maryland’s health and economic recovery a model for the nation. pic.twitter.com/URbkn0lxVi
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) September 2, 2020
In the entertainment business, the show must go on. But Lyon, a small business owner who also runs the iconic Charles Theater, wonders if she’ll be able to hang on until it does.
“Looking at six months of government-mandated closures, it would have been a relief to be able to open,“ she said. “…It cannot be overstated how devastating it is to be closed. The longer we are unable to open, the more difficult it will become.“