COVID-19 Closes New York’s Longest Running Theatre For Good
New Yorker's longest-operating year-round professional theater, which is in the Lower Hudson Valley, is closed for good and turning into a warehouse.
Officials with the Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford announced this will they are forced to close its doors for good after 46 years of business due to COVID 19.
"The work that WBT has done over the years has been truly historic and will go down in history, not only in Westchester, but in the theatre industry as New York’s longest-running Equity theatre," Westchester Broadway Theatre staff wrote on its website while announcing the closing.
Over the past 46 years, the theatre has produced 217 musicals and employed 5,000 theatre professionals, with many reaching Broadway, officials say. The theater also hosted many concerts, benefits and fundraisers, serving over six million customers.
Theater officials blame COVID-19 related shutdowns for the closure.
"As the world has been plugged into an intense emergency; we have determined there is no way we can reopen when the ban is lifted on live theatre. Dinner- theatre, because of social distancing requirements, will be the last entertainment category to be given permission. Our landlord does not want to continue supporting our lease. Sadly, the interior is to be destroyed and the building turned into a warehouse. “It is with a great sadness that we say goodbye. We wish you much good will in the future. We will miss you!” Bob Funking, Bill and Von Ann Stutler, founders of the Westchester Broadway Theatre, said in a letter to employees, posted to the theatre's website.