Astor Theatre schedule filling up as health restrictions ease

Sign for the Astor Theatre above glass double-doors in a white building
The Astor Theatre's schedule is filling up once again as COVID-19 restrictions ease. Photo by Ed Halverson.
Ed Halverson - CJQC/QCCR - LiverpoolNS | 10-08-2021

The Astor Theatre is returning to life as COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift.

The hub of arts in Liverpool has been closed for most of the pandemic, forcing the cancellation or postponement of theatre productions, movies, arts events and the bi-annual Liverpool International Theatre Festival.

Interim General Manager Jean Robinson-Dexter says convincing people it is safe to leave their homes and enjoy group activities could be a challenge.

“I think people, it’s a bit of, they’re torn. They want to come back, they want to see a movie, they want to sit in a theatre, and that’s the reaction that everybody has when they come back in. it’s like they’re so happy to be here again. So we want them to know that we have all these protocols in place and that we’re doing everything we can do to make it safe for them to be here,” said Robinson-Dexter.

People are already familiar with the COVID-19 precautions in place, such as hand sanitizing and social distancing and Astor staff is also keeping a close eye on capacity limits laid out by public health.

Robinson-Dexter says even though the province is allowing indoor gatherings of 150 people, the theatre is limiting their capacity to no more than 120 because of the limited space available to maintain social distancing.

View from balcony looking down onto a theatre stage at the Astor Theatre

The interior of the Astor Theatre. Photo by Ed Halverson.

The Astor Theatre has been able to host some events through COVID-19 such as the Queens County Music Festival, but in a very limited capacity.

In the past couple of weeks, the Astor has begun to expand their offerings, including, a month-long exhibit by local artist Melissa Labrador and has held auditions for an upcoming performance by the Winds of Change theatre group.

Robinson-Dexter says unfortunately some of the equipment needed to project films was damaged in a power outage.

“A piece of the projector broke and just with the technician being in another province, we had to wait for him to be able to come in and fix it once we got the part,” Robinson-Dexter. “So, we’re just in the last steps of getting that up and running again and we’ll be able to start movies again sometime in the next few weeks.”

More information on upcoming events can be found on the Astor Theatre website.

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