Broadway Legend Andrew Lloyd Webber to Reopen Theaters Regardless of COVID Restrictions
By Movieguide® Staff
As COVID-19 vaccinations roll out to the general public, more and more theaters are feeling ready to open their front doors.
However, restrictions for reopening are different across the globe. For London-based Andrew Lloyd Webber—composer of stage classics like “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and “Cats”—the time to open is now.
Despite London’s COVID restrictions, Webber told The Daily Telegraph that he plans to open his theaters in a week.
“I’ve seen the science from the tests,” Webber told the outlet. “If the government ignores their own science, we have the mother of all legal cases against them. If ‘Cinderella’ couldn’t open, we’d go, ‘Look, either we go to law about it or you’ll have to compensate us.’”
Webber is adamant about his claim that the government is turning a blind eye to the science and says that theaters are “completely safe.”
“Come to the theatre and arrest us,” Webber said, adding: “We are going to open.”
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The pandemic already laid waste to theaters and other in-person businesses. London announced that the COVID-related restrictions would loosen on June 21. However, Webber does not want to wait, saying that “things could get quite difficult.”
“This is the very last thing that anybody wants to do, but there would become a legal case at that point, because it’s their science — not ours,” he added. “I would passionately hope that we don’t have to, but I think we would have to consider it. We would conform with anything the government asks us to do to get to 100% open, but we have to be 100%.”
Webber told CNBC that he wanted theaters opened in the largest markets back in November.
“[I’ve] been fighting to get theaters reopened and, indeed, all forms of indoor and music spaces, up and down, not only just Britain, but all over America,” Webber said.
In the States, theaters have begun to reopen.
American directors and actors, such as John Krasinski, share Webber’s passion for an in-person experience.
Krasinski recently took a risk by releasing A QUIET PLACE PART II solely in theaters.
Despite multiple studios and movies scrapping their plans for theatrical releases and head to streamers, Writer/Director John Krasinski stood firm that his movie, A QUIET PLACE PART II, would wait until theaters reopened.
“I always wanted it to come out in the theater,” Krasinski said. “We designed it pretty much exactly for this theater – this is beautiful, by the way. To me, there is no other way to see this movie and that’s how our entire team looked at it. When last year happened, I have to say Paramount was incredibly supportive of pushing for it. I’m sure there were moments they got nervous and started realizing – like everybody – that timeline kept going and going. I’ll also say when this year arrived and they originally had it in September, I said I will do September but if it’s looking OK for May, I want to do it. There was something emotionally for me that we were the last movie friend to leave and so I wanted to be your first movie friend back.”
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