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Video: Northland entertainment venues lay out plans to reopen

Jan 11, 2021 06:09AM ● By Editor
Photo: WDIO-TV

By Emily Ness of WDIO-TV - January 10, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented shows from going on at entertainment venues across the globe. But on Monday, Northlanders will be able to enjoy shows on stages and screens once more when Governor Tim Walz’s restrictions are lifted and entertainment venues are allowed to reopen at 25% capacity.

In light of this development, WDIO spoke to the Zeitgeist and Norshor Theatre about their plans to reopen.

Sara Rolfson, Business Director at the Zeitgeist, said they plan to re-open to private parties who would like to rent out their Zinema starting next weekend.

“We are so excited,” Rolfson said.

According to Rolfson, new safety protocol will be in place.

“We will try to make sure that there is one way in, one way out, there is sanitizers all around. We are doing more regular cleaning than we normally do and we also provide masks for anyone that doesn’t have one,” Rolfson said.

Rolfson said they hope to re-open for regular showings by spring or summer when more people have been vaccinated and they have more seating to offer cafe guests outdoors.

Across the street, Phillip Fazio, Artistic Director at Norshor Theatre, said they plan to continue offering virtual performances for the months of January and February, with the goal of welcoming audiences back for in-person performances in March.

“Once we get through this moment and we’re able to safely bring people back at that 25%, I know that, that is going to be such a powerful moment for this community,” Fazio said.

Fazio explained that the theatre is holding off on opening right away because the magic of a live performance takes time and planning.

“We have to put the show in place, secure the rights to perform the piece, we have to rehearse the actors, we have to train our ushers,” Fazio said.

Once they do officially reopen for in-person performances, Fazio said they will have safety protocol in place to protect guests.

“We’ve been in consultation with a local health specialist, who has been helping us secure all the proper equipment, cleaning supplies, masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, all of that good stuff,” Fazio said.

Both venues expressed their excitement about bringing live entertainment back to the Twin Ports during this difficult time.

“We just can’t wait until we can have people back in it and you know, enjoying a drink from the bar and popcorn from downstairs and connecting with their friends and family again,” Rolfson said.

“The thing that keeps me energized and keeps me going is imaging that first day when we can safely bring people back in here and we can have a live event and we can all have that wonderful, communal, theatrical experience where the actors are performing something brilliant on stage and the audience is receiving it and responding with love,” Fazio said.

To see the original story and read related reports, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here