Hollywood joins growing list of COVID-19 shutdowns


Wynette Jameson

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre located in Hollywood, California. Major Hollywood events such as the Oscar’s have taken place here.

Aivry Zamora, Entertainment Editor

Despite constantly being encouraged to remain calm by celebrities on social media, the increasingly concerning effects of the COVID-19 virus are difficult to ignore. With statistics and predictions overpowering news outlets world-wide, the pandemic has rendered “everyday routine” a distant memory. Though streaming companies such as Netflix and Hulu are benefiting from the general public working from home, those in Hollywood are having to cease production on upcoming releases, setting back the entertainment industry until further notice. The unknown end to the pandemic has caused setback in every area of entertainment production as the social distancing rule has left workers at home with no definite end to “the national house arrest.”

“This is going to have a broad impact on most of the sectors in all of the economies of the world, but entertainment will be particularly hard hit. People are scared right now, and they are not going to want to spend a lot of time in a crowded theater. The big issue in my mind, and it is not answerable yet, is how long will this go on and will it intensify?” Hal Vogel, producer, said.

The easily spread nature of the virus has led to the cancellation or postponement of major concerts, festivals and heavily populated events. The annual Houston Livestock Show and rodeo ended nearly two weeks early due to concerns of COVID-19 leaving many singers and artists unable to perform. Coachella, an extremely popular Californian festival has been postponed to October until further notice. Major singers have cancelled their upcoming concerts for the next two months and many are refunding tickets to their disappointed fans. Disneyland, Disneyworld, and Universal Studios theme parks have closed for one of the few times in history, cancelling travel plans for many families across the globe. Though the constant cancellation of heavily anticipated events has left fans displeased, crowd health and safety has become an even higher priority than it has ever been.

“If production shuts down or even slows, that will hurt crew members, actors, writers and directors who exist in a gig economy, where paying the bills is dependent on finding the next show or movie,” Brett Lang, Variety reporter, said.

As the danger of getting sick increases, more people are beginning to choose to avoid theatres and crowds leaving film sets deserted. Production of movies, television and Broadway have been temporarily ceased as the large crowd that is necessary to film or rehearse is no longer an option until the spread of coronavirus has decreased. Though Hollywood is struggling to maintain its rhythm, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and other popular streaming services are thriving with the high percentage of consumers using their services while staying home. Streaming shares have increased 12.5% since the start of the year and are only predicted to grow from there.

“They’re absolutely unique among public media companies because they are a pure streaming play. Consumption of streaming is obviously going to increase if people stay inside,” David Miller, imperial capital analyst, said.

Celebrities have taken upon themselves to provide information to their fans and audiences amidst the constant flow of news feeds with #socialdistancing becoming a trending hashtag on nearly every social media platform. With loved celebrity Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson being infected with the virus, fans across the world are worried. As celebrities are constantly traveling their risk of infection is increased despite current travel restriction laws.

Libraries have opened up their collections online for anyone to access without needing a library card or requiring payment. With the philosophy, “there are only so many shows on Netflix,” books are becoming a primary source of entertainment for quarantined locations. Popular book store, Barnes and Noble has closed the inside of their locations but is offering curbside deliveries to online orders, as titles are flying off the shelves at a rapid rate. Though some industries are benefiting from the COVID-19 pandemic, most are not and businesses have to adapt to the new “homebody economy” that everyone is now experiencing, coming up with new innovative way to keep the world moving.