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Syracuse's Landmark Theater one of many venue postponing events over coronavirus

Payne Horning

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday the state will ban all gatherings with 500 or more people in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Cuomo said the ban would start for most places at 5 p.m. Friday. Venues of under 500 people can only be filled to half their capacity. The ban does not apply to schools, hospitals, nursing homes and mass transit.

Businesses in central New York are already implementing the governor's directive. The Landmark Theater in Syracuse, a venue with 2,700 seats, is postponing the Blue Man Group performances that were scheduled to take place this weekend.

Landmark Executive Director Mike Intaglietta said they may have to do the same for other shows on its March calendar as well.

“For a venue our size, shows of this scope are rare and so we are so appreciative that we are able to reschedule Blue Man Group for later in the spring,” Intaglietta said. “It is going to be a challenge if this persists for a lot of operators.”

Perhaps the most difficult task, Intaglietta said, will be dealing with shows that have not yet been booked given the uncertainty of how long the ban on large-group gatherings will last.

“Knowing how to plan when we’re not sure whether or not we will be able to conduct our business is going to be quite challenging,” He said.

Intaglietta says it’s especially disappointing because the Landmark is considered a gathering place for the local community, but they are focused on doing their part as a venue to promote the health and safety of the community.

The Landmark staff have reached out to the governor's office for more information and plan to keep the public informed about the fate of their future events.

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.