CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall features several venues for live music, but none of them had been able to open their doors for weeks during the coronavirus pandemic.
With Governor Ralph Northam announcing the commonwealth would be transitioning into Phase Three of his Forward Virginia plan starting on July 1, venues will be able to hold shows with up to 50% capacity or 250 total people, whichever is less.
“With Phase Three, it looks like 250 patrons would be able to come into the theater. We’re actually going to cap that at 100 so that we can allow for excessive social distancing while we reopen,” Paramount Theater Director of Marketing Maran Garland said.
“We are vetting plans for the Jefferson,” Shea said. “We just want to open safely, and we want to make sure we feel confident that we would be doing it. We’re anxious to get back at it, but we want to be careful,”
He also said that he believes the Southern Cafe & Music Hall could operate more as a restaurant featuring live music, and the Jefferson Theater could be more of a concert with more social distancing.
However, the process is more complicated than just limiting the amount of people inside.
“Making sure many of the processes are hands-free, making sure there’s as much sanitation happening as possible that we can manage capacity and occupancy in the bathrooms,” Shea said. “All of the operations have to be considered and are affected.”
With so much uncertainty due the pandemic, there’s no definitive plans and anything could change in an instant for these venues.