Arlington Heights' Metropolis to resume shows, with limited capacity, July 31

  • The new classic-style marquee installed June 30 at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in downtown Arlington Heights will soon promote a series of shows set to begin July 31, with limited capacity allowed.

      The new classic-style marquee installed June 30 at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in downtown Arlington Heights will soon promote a series of shows set to begin July 31, with limited capacity allowed. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, June 2020

 
 
Updated 7/9/2020 3:17 PM

With a newly-installed marquee ready to greet them, patrons of the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre will be allowed back inside enjoying shows in about three weeks.

The downtown Arlington Heights theater is expected to open its curtains for the first time in months with the Creole Stomp Duo on Friday, July 31 and Saturday, Aug. 1. A series of other concerts, comedy events and a school production set to take place throughout August will be announced in late July and advertised on the new Campbell Street marquee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Metropolis is expected to be one of the few local theaters in the area that's open.

"We are committed to presenting great shows, employing local artists and bringing the Metropolis community together, even with our current constraints," Joe Keefe, the executive artistic director, and Brookes Ebetsch, the executive operations director, wrote in a theater blog post.

For now, only 50 theatergoers will be allowed at a time, under the state's Phase 4 guidelines for theaters and cinemas. That represents less than 20% of Metropolis' 309-seat capacity, which the theater's co-executive directors said poses a financial challenge to the nonprofit organization.

Patrons will be asked to wear face masks and keep a social distance from one another, and increased cleaning efforts will be implemented as part of current COVID-19 safety guidelines, according to Liz Lach, Metropolis' marketing director. The theater already has purchased new touchless equipment, reconfigured space for social distancing, and upgraded heating, cooling and air conditioning filters.

In May, the theater announced its 20th anniversary season schedule would begin in September with "Little Shop of Horrors," followed by three other stage shows through August 2021. But Lach said officials are holding off on whether to change those plans, as they await further guidelines and hope that gathering size limits increase.

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