Coronavirus hits Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill theatres and cinemas following latest Government advice
Theatres are going dark following the latest Government advice in the fight against coronavirus.
Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds announced this afternoon it would close with immediate effect up to and including April 25.
All programmed shows, outreach projects, education and youth theatre workshops and theatre tours are cancelled.
It says all customers and visitors who have bookings will be contacted as soon as possible and offered theatre credit or refunds.
A message on its website says: "As an independent charity, however, fulfilling refunds for all cancelled performances could be financially devastating for us and, as such, we are appealing to customers to consider donating all or part of their ticket price to help secure the theatre for future generations."
The theatre will review the situation every three weeks and make further announcements 'in due course'.
In a statement, it said: "We have more than 200 years’ experience of weathering storms here at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds and, while this is uncharted territory for us, the board of trustees, management team and all staff are determined to fight to ensure we have a theatre which will continue to entertain and educate audiences for many years to come."
It adds: "We appreciate your support and understanding as we make decisions to protect our theatre, staff, visiting companies and artists.If you would like to make a general donation to help the theatre survive during this challenging time we would be hugely grateful."
The Apex, in Charter Square, announced this afternoon it is closing its auditorium and studios until further notice.
In a statement, it said: "This decision has not been taken lightly and we have made this decision with the safety and well-being of our customers and staff in mind.
"Where possible events will be postponed, but unfortunately some events will be cancelled, in which case ticket holders will be contacted and refunded. We ask that you please bear with us at this unprecedented time.
"We look forward to welcoming you back to The Apex at the soonest possible opportunity."
Cineworld has closed all its cinema venues, including those it operates in Bury and Haverhill, until further notice.
A statement on its website says: "We sincerely wish good health for you and your families during these uncertain times."
The Abbeygate cinema and No.4 restaurant, in Hatter Street, are remaining open.
A spokeswoman said today: "We take the health and well-being of our staff and customers very seriously and we are of course fully aware of the Government’s most recent advice for the need to social distance where possible and for certain ‘at risk’ groups to avoid venues such as ours.
"However, while we have customers who want to visit, staff who are well and willing to work, films and events to screen, we will continue to stay open until such time as we are formally instructed to close."
She added the situation was being reviewed on a daily basis but in the meantime, the venues looked forward to welcoming their 'fantastic' customers whenever they wished to visit.
Haverhill Arts Centre has closed to the public from today, initially until April 6 but the situation will be kept under review based on Government advice.
It is asking anyone with tickets to email firstname.lastname@example.org
It said: "We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers for their custom and understanding."
More by this authorCamille Berriman