Letchworth’s Broadway Cinema and Theatre shines a crimson light on industry in crisis

Broadway Cinema and Theatre was illuminated in red on Friday evening, in solidarity with the theatre

Broadway Cinema and Theatre was illuminated in red on Friday evening, in solidarity with the theatre and live events industry. Picture: David Levett - Credit: Archant

Letchworth’s Broadway Cinema and Theatre was lit up in crimson on Friday night as part of the nationwide #LightItInRed campaign – a movement which aims to raise awareness of the crisis facing the music and live events industry due to COVID-19.

Thousands of venues around the UK including theatres, music halls and nightclubs have been illuminating their buildings in red to highlight the existential threat of job losses facing the sector.

This comes despite the government’s pledged £1.57 billion rescue package to “protect England’s arts, culture, and heritage industries.”

Jason Valentine, venues manager at the Heritage Foundation, said was “proud to be apart of the #LightItInRed campaign,” but admitted the impact COVID-19 on the arts and events industry has been “catastrophic.”

The Government announced on Saturday that plays, concerts and other indoor performances could begin to reopen in England, but Jason warned it will be “some time” before theatre and live music events return to the Broadway stage in Letchworth.

In late July, Broadway announced that its feted run of theatre and live events would be mothballed until 2021.

Mr Valentine added: “Like many venues around the world, we have had to make some tough decisions about our future due to huge financial losses as a result of the pandemic.

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“We have taken into consideration the financial implications of Broadway Theatre returning and the safety of staff and visitors, and based on this, we are unable to deliver the programme we would like.

“A great deal of work has gone into building an exciting programme of live theatre, so this has been a difficult decision to make. While we welcome news that the government will be providing funding to arts and culture venues in the UK, there is no detail on eligibility criteria or a clear timeline of when the funding will be available. We will of course monitor this closely.”

The popcorn is ready and the lights are dimmed at Broadway Cinema, however, with the venue set to reopen next Monday (August 24). The cinema has met the government’s COVID-19 guidelines and is “excited” to be welcoming customers back for the first time in nearly five months.

Customers are reminded to book tickets, arrive with face coverings and reserve seats online ahead of visiting.