The Liberty Theatre is playing its event schedule by ear for the next few months as coronavirus cases are expected to increase statewide.

The Astoria theater has had 15 cancellations of shows and private events this month, but remains open.

Liberty Theatre

A recent surge in coronavirus cases has taken a toll at the Liberty Theatre.

The Liberty still plans on a screening of the film “What Happened, Miss Simone?” on Sunday and a performance by the band Five Letter Word hosted at Fort George Brewery on Jan. 20.

“At this moment, everything that’s on the website is moving forward,” said Jennifer Crockett, the theater’s executive director.

To determine cancellations, she said that they have been consulting with performers and patrons about their comfort level in advance.

“It’s a big collaboration. We try not to make decisions on our own,” Crockett said.

The theater also sends an online survey to its mailing list of around 7,000 patrons. Sometimes, the results say the majority aren’t comfortable returning to the theater.

If a show is canceled or postponed, the theater contacts ticket holders to offer them a choice between a refund or credit toward a future show.

“So far, the events that are coming up, we have 640 seats and ticket sales are still down. I think a large portion of our audience is not ready to come back yet,” Crockett said. “And so there’s plenty of room to spread out.”

She said the upcoming shows have around two-thirds vacancy. The theater has stopped selling concessions, likely until mid-February, to encourage attendees to keep their masks on.

The theater will continue to evaluate its schedule two weeks at a time, considering county virus case numbers.


Abbey McDonald is the business and tourism reporter at The Astorian and Coast River Business Journal. Contact her at 971-704-1523 or