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Broadway League Reverses Decision, Dims Lights For Joan Rivers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Perhaps they saw the light?

A day after saying the lights of the Great White Way would not go dark for Joan Rivers, the Broadway League reversed its decision and dimmed the lights tuesday night.

"Joan Rivers loved Broadway and we loved her. Due to the outpouring of love and respect for Joan Rivers from our community and from her friends and fans worldwide, the marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in her memory tonight, at exactly 6:45pm for one minute," said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League.

dimming of lights in honor of Joan Rivers
(Credit: Jim Smith/WCBS 880)

The Broadway League, which represents theater owners and producers, previously told the New York Times that it had decided Rivers did not meet the criteria for dimming the lights on theater marquees in the traditional industry honor for deceased theater celebrities.

Hundreds stopped in their tracks to get a glimpse at the dark marquee.

crowd gathers to see dimming of lights in honor of Joan Rivers
(Credit: Jim Smith/WCBS 880)

"I think it's the most publicized dimming in history and that's how it should be for Joan Rivers, period," theater producer Tom D'Angora told WCBS 880's Jim Smith.

Broadway League Reverses Decision, Dims Lights For Joan Rivers

D'Angora started an online petition after hearing the Broadway League was denying the tribute.

"It was a must, it was demanded, it was the right thing to do," D'Angora said.

"She deserves incredible reactions like this," Erich Bergen said.

MORE: Joan Rivers Through The Years | Social Media Reaction

St. Martin told the newspaper that for the lights to be dimmed, a deceased person needs to have been "very active recently" on Broadway, or to have made his or her career there.

Rivers, 81,appeared on Broadway three times and was nominated for a Tony Award in 1994.

The initial decision to not dim lights sparked outrage among fans, and a petition asking the Broadway League to reconsider.

"Not dimming the lights will be a blemish on the entire Broadway community that will never go away," said the petition issued by Tom D'Angora. "We implore Broadway to reverse its decision and show our beloved legend the respect she deserves!"

The petition received nearly 5,400 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.

Rivers died Sept. 4, a week after undergoing a routine throat procedure in Manhattan.

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