Altria Theater sees demand escalate, even amid Omicron surge

Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 7:13 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2022 at 8:40 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Altria Theater is making a big comeback after an 18-month long shutdown due to COVID-19.

Even amid the Omicron surge, the show must go on for venues like this, especially since they could not bring in revenue for so long.

The Altria Theater now has dozens of shows and performances on the schedule as pent-up demand approaches pre-pandemic levels.

“We reopened in August of 2021. It’s been very busy ever since then. It’s not without its challenges, obviously,” ASM Richmond Director of Sales and Marketing Tim Miller said.

In order to stay open, the theater has several COVID-19 protocols with cleaning, sanitization and air filtration systems.

As far as proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test, and mask-wearing, it’s the artists, promoters, and touring companies that will decide what they think is suitable for their fan base. The theater will then implement those requirements on their behalf.

“We have sort of a baseline of protocols, and then promoters are making determinations on a show-by-show basis,” Miller said.

Broadway shows such as Wicked, Come From Away, and The Lion King are on the docket, as well as concerts and comedy acts.

Miller says the comedy shows are selling very quickly, with many comedians having to book a second show to meet demand.

“I think it’s because people need comic relief right now,” Miller said. “They say that laughter is the best medicine, and I think people are taking advantage of that.”

It isn’t just the patrons that have been itching to get back to shows.

“I think we’re seeing that to a large degree on the side of the artists and the performers as well; they were ready to get back at their craft,” Miller said.

Miller says they’ve seen some cancellations and postponements due to Omicron, but the vast majority of shows are still locked in and set to hit the stage.

“The Lion King sales had been gangbusters, and all the broadway subscriptions have been strong,” Miller said. “People want to get back out and be entertained and enjoy a night out.”

To find more information about shows coming up, click here.

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