Bonnie Kemble speaks to Chris Arthurs and Melanie Anderson during a scene from the Portal Players’ production of Shadow of Murder. The Capitol Theatre is now closed to the public. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Port Alberni arts community announces closures in wake of COVID-19

Capitol Theatre, Rollin Art Centre postponing all events

Port Alberni’s arts community is postponing or cancelling all upcoming events due to the quickly evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

The Portal Players Dramatic Society made the decision on Tuesday, March 17 to close the Capitol Theatre to the public for the remainder of the 2019-2020 season.

The upcoming play I Ought to be in Pictures, educational programs (Stages Youth Theatre, Wee-Glee, Glee, Sea Notes Choirs) and all other events scheduled to take place at the Capitol Theatre have been postponed.

READ MORE: An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Prorated refunds will be offered for educational programs, and season ticket holders will be contacted in the coming days.

“Thank you for your support and understanding as we navigate through this ever-changing situation,” Portal Players president Brent Ronning said on Tuesday. “We are deeply concerned about the health and welfare of our patrons, members, staff and contractors, and we are confident that this is the right course of action at this time.”

A decision has not been made yet about Theatre BC’s Mainstage Festival, which is scheduled to be hosted in Port Alberni in July.

The Community Arts Council also announced on Tuesday that the Rollin Art Centre will be closed until further notice.

This means that all art exhibits, performances and programs will be cancelled until further notice. Book donations for the annual Giant Book Sale will no longer be accepted.

“While we’re disappointed by this outcome, we recognize how fortunate we are to be able to continue working and planning future events,” said arts administrator Melissa Martin. “We’re also grateful to our artists and volunteers for being so willing to take precautions and supporting these difficult decisions.”

Martin can be reached with any concerns at admincac@shawcable.com. Questions or concerns about the Capitol Theatre can be directed to capitoltheatre@shaw.ca or call 250-723-1195.

Port Alberni’s Paramount Theatre is also closed to the public, after Landmark Cinemas announced the closure of all its locations as of Monday, March 16. Tickets purchased online will be automatically refunded. For tickets purchased in person, reach out to guestservices@landmarkcinemas.com.


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