REDDING, Calif. - The coronavirus changed the way people live and how businesses operate.
Since 1935, the Cascade Theatre has been a gem in downtown Redding.“We renovated about 14 years ago and reopened, that’s when we purchased it and it’s be in continuous operation ever since,” says Cascade Theatre general manager, Michelle Irvine.
Throughout the years, the theatre has hosted plenty of in-house production, but because of the coronavirus, it’s been closed for over two months.
“Literally four days before we were scheduled to open ‘Matilda,’ our in-house spring musical, everything just stopped,” says Irvine.
However, the coronavirus hasn’t stopped them from being busy.
“We’ve been painting and cleaning and just preparing every day for you know, hopefully getting the word soon that maybe in a couple of weeks we’ll be able to open,” says Irvine.
Under Governor Newsom’s plan, venues like the Cascade Theatre will not be able to reopen until stage four, so what will the future of theatres look like?
One of the options could be switching to streaming performances.
“You know maybe we can only have 2 to 250 people here and we sell that, then people can purchase to watch online,” says Irvine. “By the time stage four hits, I don’t know whether masks will be required I mean certainly we’ve got hand sanitizer, we’re looking into getting the plexiglass partitions.”
Even though California hasn’t yet laid out guidelines to how venues like the Cascade Theatre can operate, Michelle Irvine tells Action News Now, they’re prepared to go by the rules so that people are comfortable coming back.
“We’re not going to push and open until we know it’s safe and we can take care of things,” says Irvine.
Irvine tells Action News Now the theatre plans to have a fundraiser sometime next week to raise money for much-needed expenses.