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Orpheum Theater And Other Live Venues To Require Proof Of Vaccinations At Events

Ryan Heinsius

A group of independent live entertainment venues in Arizona has announced they’ll require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results for entry. It comes as an increasing number of theaters, clubs and festivals nationwide are putting similar mandates in place. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

The Orpheum Theater, Theatrikos Theatre Company and Flagstaff Music Theatre join at least a dozen other Arizona venues in putting the mandates in place. Orpheum managers say they’re currently figuring out the logistics of the vaccine verification process but the new rules will go into effect Sept. 20.

"We are committed to continuing, we have no intention to stop. It will be challenging just the way it was over this past year. We will have to make adjustments as well and attempt to bring back people into the venue in a safe a way as we can without bringing harm to the community," says Orpheum owner and Flagstaff physician Charles Smith.

The Orpheum and Theatrikos will also require patrons to wear masks indoors along with theater staff while they’re on duty.

The Rialto Theatre in Tucson and Phoenix’s Crescent Ballroom are among the other Arizona venues implementing similar rules.

Vaccine requirements are becoming increasingly common nationwide at live events. AEG Presents, the second-largest live music company in the world and promoter of the Coachella festival, announced last week it’ll require proof of vaccination for all concertgoers and staff by Oct. 1. The Broadway League put a similar mandate in place for its productions last month.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom as executive producer in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.
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