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New Life For Downtown Sacramento Business As California OKs Live Concerts, Conferences

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Places like the Golden 1 Center and Sacramento's $300 million Convention Center can finally begin to book events again after California loosened more restrictions on Friday.

The stage at The Sofia, home of the B Street Theatre, was still set for its last production which was on March 13, 2020.

"There was life on that stage, there were people in the audience," said Associate Artistic Director Lyndsay Burch.

She said she is ready to bring the community back to the stage.

"It's going to be so exciting to bring that to life again. A theatre without people is just a building," Burch said.

After more than a year of back and forth restrictions, the curtain is rising at Crest Theater. Friday, the theater reopened for movies after almost having to permanently close their doors during the pandemic. The community helped save around $50,000 to keep the theater operating.

"You know I owe everybody money, so this allows us to start checking those boxes," said Owner and General Manager, Robert Alvis.

Alvis is planning on hosting small shows starting May.

"We have a lot of shows that have delayed and postponed with no end date because no one wants to book a day and have it postponed and postponed. This is a game-changer," Alvis said. "A lot of our bigger acts won't be along for a while until the capacity is all the way up. But it gives us a tremendous opportunity to shine the light on some smaller acts, more local acts."

Broadway Sacramento is still in the process of construction at the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center. Due to capacity restrictions, they are choosing to wait to welcome guests until September with Hamilton headlining.

"The great news is that there is progress in a positive direction. For us, we really need to be able to get a couple thousand people into a building to make things work," said President and CEO Richard Lewis.

The state attributed the looser restrictions to a low COVID-19 positivity rate and to progress being made with vaccines.

At Golden 1 Center, fans are still watching the kings game from outside but they soon will be able to cheer from the stands. Live shows will debut as soon as June.

"We look forward to welcoming guests and fans back to the arena for games, concerts and shows in the near future. Health and safety remain our utmost priority and we have proactively taken measures to prepare for the resumption of live events with an audience in attendance in accordance with public health guidelines," said a representative of Golden 1 Center in a statement.

The Sacramento Kings issued a separate statement welcoming the new looser restrictions.

"We are excited about today's announcement regarding indoor professional sports venues and look forward to safely welcoming fans back to the arena in the near future."

Some people say they're ready to get back to the music.

"Music is super integral to a community like Sacramento, which in many ways really blossoms," said one person dining.

But there are a few catches. You'll have to either prove you tested negative or have been vaccinated.

Some say it's still too soon.

"We are still in the middle of a pandemic and it's still risky at this point," said another diner.

Economic expert Sanjay Varshnay with Goldstone Wealth Management says the majority are ready to open up their wallets and get back to life. But he says it's too soon to predict whether it will be enough to save the Sacramento region's shuttered economy.

"People underestimate the level of stress that region has gone through. Those stresses will be more obvious once the dust settles," he said.

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