To stem the spread of coronavirus, New York's major cultural institutions announced they would be suspending performances or closing their doors, beginning Thursday. Citing the need for "drastic measures," Governor Mario Cuomo ordered an end to all gatherings of five hundred or more people, effectively shutting down Broadway and all of the major non-profit performing arts venues, including Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera. The Metropolitan Museum of Artannounced it would be closing on Friday.

Peter Gelb, the Metropolitan Opera's general manager wrote, "With health authorities urging social distancing with greater emphasis, it is simply untenable for us to continue to perform, as it puts our artists, staff, and audiences at risk."

Most of the non-profits announced they'd be closed until March 31, but Broadway's theaters don't plan to reopen until April 12. The economic impact will be widespread: in addition to ticket receipts of $1.8 billion last season, Broadway is the largest tourist attraction in New York, with thousands of businesses relying on it – from restaurants to hotels to taxi cabs. And the closing couldn't come at a busier time of the year – six shows were scheduled to open before the end of March, while nine others were scheduled to open before April 23, the deadline to qualify for Tony Awards. Some shows, which have been struggling at the box office, may not reopen. According to Deadline, a month-long shutdown could see Broadway losing in the neighborhood of $100 million.

Theaters and concert halls are offering ticket exchanges, refunds or accepting donations.

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