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Broadway Suspends Performances Through Remainder Of 2020

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Bad news, theater fans. Broadway will remain closed for the rest of the year.

The Broadway League announced Monday performances are suspended through Jan. 3, 2021.

"The safety of our cast, crew, orchestra and audience is our highest priority and we look forward to returning to our stages only when it's safe to do so," Chairman of the Board Thomas Schumacher said in a statement.

Ticketholders will receive an email with information about refund or exchange options.

The Great White Way went dark on March 12 and has been closed since.

It's big blow to Broadway fans, stars, and everyone behind the scenes.

"January, my God, that's like nine months from now, isn't it? Or eight months, or something. Oh, not only the performers, the stage hands, all those guys backstage that change the sets. The ticket people, the ushers," Broadway fan Ira Hawkins told CBS2's Natalie Duddridge on Monday.

It's crushing for people like Mike Metzel, who has worked in theater his entire career as an actor, teacher, and director.

"Any theater work that's going on now you do on the Zoom. It's really bad on the economy," Metzel said.

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Broadway attracted a record 15 million theater goers last year and grossed $1.8 billion.

Next year, many shows will not reopen.

The effects of the extended closure will trickle down to nearby bars and restaurants that rely on revenue from the Broadway crowd.

"It's going to be a long few months before businesses really ramp up, before people really feel comfortable going to places of density, going to a Broadway show, going to a packed restaurant, going to a packed bar," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

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