Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, June 2, 2020
PRESS PHOTO BY LORI PATRICKThe March 12 rock concert by Steve Hackett, above, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown, attended by an estimated 775, may have been the last really big show for several weeks in the Lehigh Valley. PRESS PHOTO BY LORI PATRICKThe March 12 rock concert by Steve Hackett, above, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown, attended by an estimated 775, may have been the last really big show for several weeks in the Lehigh Valley.

Coronavirus closings go viral in the Valley: concert, theater, arts venues close doors; State Theatre postpones shows in April

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Sometimes, the show must not go on.

And indications are the shows may not go on anytime soon.

That’s case with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has gone viral ‘round the world and, of course, in the Lehigh Valley region, where arts, entertainment and cultural venues have shuttered temporarily, and performances and events have been canceled or postponed.

On March 16, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf ordered “all non-essential businesses” in the commonwealth to close because of the Coronavirus. Restaurants are ordered to offer take-out only and no dine-in seating. Pennsylvania State Stores were closing at 9 p.m. March 17.

It’s happening out of an abundance of caution to mitigate community transmission of the Coronavirus. Persons are urged to keep their distance from one another, known as social distancing, and avoid crowds.

This includes sports events, hence the alphabet soup acronym of league and association events, playoffs and season-opener cancellations, including NCAA “March Madness” basketball games, high school state tourneys, MLB opening day, NASCAR races, the May 1 Kentucky Derby, the Phantoms, IronPigs ... and the list goes on.

So it goes in the arts and entertainment world, with cancellation of the South by Southwest music, film and interactive media festival, Austin, Tex.; Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Riverside County, Calif.; major music tours postponed or canceled, Broadway theaters gone dark in New York City, and Disney World and Disneyland closed.

The coronavirus-mandated closings have been especially tough on the motion picture business. The 2020 Tribeca Film Festival is canceled. The 2020 TCM Classic Film Festival is canceled.

Domestic and international wide releases of movies have been postponed, including the James Bond film, “No Time To Die,” set to open in April and now scheduled to premiere in November. The opening of “A Quiet Place Part II,” set to open March 20, has been postponed, and so have the openings of “Mulan” and “Fast & Furious 9,” the latter to be released April 2, 2021.

The direct-to-streaming date for some movies has been moved up, including ”The Hunt,” “Emma,” and “The Invisible Man,” March 20, and “Trolls World Tour,” April 10 (the movie’s original theatrical release date).

Closed movie theaters and film venues in the Lehigh Valley include Roxy Theatre, Northampton; Emmaus Theatre, Emmaus; Civic Theatre of Allentown; ArtsQuest Banko Cinemas; New Vision Tilghman Square 8; AMC Theatres, the United States’ largest movie chain, and Regal Cinemas, the nation’s second largest movie chain.

A wave of coronavirus closings has washed across the Lehigh Valley with the Allentown Art Museum; Civic Theatre of Allentown; SteelStacks, Bethlehem, and Wind Creek Bethlehem, shuttering temporarily.

Other venues, including PPL Center, Allentown; Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown; State Theatre Centre for the Arts, Easton; Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe, and Mauch Chunk Opera House, Jim Thorpe, are canceling or postponing concerts.

Interestingly, the State Theatre March 17 update of its postponements now extends through April.

With the closing of schools in Pennsylvania, March 16-27, high school musical performances entered in the Freddy Awards, are canceled or postponed. Check with each school’s website for updates.

With classes moving online at college and university campuses in the Lehigh Valley, some theater and concert performances and gallery exhibitions were not open to the public and other events are canceled, including those at Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University; Baker Center for the Arts and Trexler Pavilion for Theatre and Dance, Muhlenberg College; Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, and Williams Center for the Arts, Lafayette College.

The Steve Hackett March 12 concert at Miller Symphony Hall, which included his replication of the Genesis’ prog-rock classic album, “Selling England by the Pound,” may have been the last big area concert for the month.

Here, as of March 17, is an update of Lehigh Valley arts, entertainment and cultural closings, cancellations or postponements. The list is in alphabetical order. Be sure to check each venue’s website.

If your venue or event isn’t included, email the information to:

Agri-Plex, Allentown Fairgrounds - Postponed: Garage Sale, March 14, 15; rescheduled to May 30, 31

Allentown Art Museum - Closed March 14 - March 31. Information about Gala, April 4, to be announced.

Allentown Band - Postponed: March 15 concert, Star of Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bethlehem

Allentown YMCA, Allentown. Closed March 16. Child care closed March 17

AMC Theatres - Temorarily closed March 17 for six to 12 weeks. Movies available via AMC Theatres on Demand.

America on Wheels, Allentown - Closed March 14 - March 31.

ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, Banana Factory, Bethlehem - Closed noon March 16 - March 31. Programming, including cinema screenings and comedy shows at ArtsQuest Center and classes at the Banana Factory, suspended. Postponed: Jim Messina, March 14. Performances postponed through March 31, including Lehigh Valley Podcast Festival, SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase. Rescheduled: The Amish Outlaws, July 23; Gary Hoey, March 13, 2021; Everlast, March 14, 2021.

Arts at St. John’s, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Allentown. Canceled: “Bach Marathon,” March 15

Bach Choir of Bethlehem - Canceled: Spring Concert, March 29; “Bach at Noon,” April 14

Baum School of Art, Allentown - Closed through March 28.

Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center - Activities suspended until May 15.

Bucks County Playhouse - Postponed: World Premiere, “Other World”

Bethlehem YMCA, Bethlehem - Closed March 16. Child care programming closed March 17

Charles A Brown Ice House, Bethlehem - Closed for March. Postponed: World premiere, March 16 - 18, Crowded Kitchen Players, “The Rising: The Irish Rebellion of 1916 in Song and Verse”; Lehigh Valley premiere, March 26-29, Selkie Theatre, “The Revolutionists”

Civic Theatre of Allentown - Postponed: “Silence! The Musical,” Lehigh Valley premiere, March 13-21; rescheduled April 3-11. Film programming on hiatus.

Crayola Experience, Easton - Closed for two weeks

Da VincI Science Center, Allentown - Closed through March 31

Emmaus Historical Society - Canceled: “The Circus is Coming to the Valley,” March 19

Emmaus Theatre - Temporarily closed

Godfrey Daniels, Bethlehem - Concerts canceled or postponed: Lucy Wainwright, Frog Holler, Blackwater, The Razzies, “Dave’s Night Out,” Kristy Cox and Serene Green, Pierre Bensusan, Jams and Open Mike (until further notice). Next concert: April 2, “On The Road & In The Round” - Craig Bickhardt, Thom Schuyler, Tony Arata, Jack Murray

Allentown YMCA, Allentown. Closed March 16. Child care closed March 17

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Kempton - Closed through March 30

Historical Bethlehem Museums and Sites - Moravian Museum, Kemerer Museum, Visitor Center closed through March 22

Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley, Allentown. Closed for two weeks, beginning March 14. Postponed: Stagemakers’ “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr.,” March 15

Lehigh Valley Active Life, Allentown - Closed March 13 - March 23

Lehigh Valley Auto Show - Postponed: March 19 - March 22, including March 18 Gala, Stabler Arena, Goodman Campus, Lehigh University

Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, Allentown - Closed through March 31

Lehigh Valley Wine Trail - Final three March weekends of event canceled

Lehigh Valley Zoo, Schnecksville - Closed March 17 - March 31

Mack Trucks Historical Museum, Allentown - Closed until further notice

Mauch Chunk Opera House, Jim Thorpe - Concerts postponed through March

Martin Guitar, Nazareth - Tours suspended

Michener Museum, Doylestown. Closed through March 30

Miller Symphony Hall - Akropolis Reed Quintet, March 15: private performance; Canceled: March 19, “Third Thursday,” Steve Brosky, The Lyric Room; March 20: “Jazz Upstairs,” Erich Cawalla Quartet; March 21, Allentown School District Foundation High Notes 2020 Gala; March 22, “The Met: Live in HD Series,” Handel’s “Agrippina”; March 25, “Laughs at The Lyric”; March 29, Young Musician String Festival Concert

National Museum of Industrial History, Bethlehem - Closed until April 1

New Vision Tilghman Square 8 - Closed as of midnight March 16

Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe - Postponed: Styx, March 14; Melvin Seals and JGB, March 20; Mike DelGuidice and Big Shot, March 21; Last in Line, Lynch Mob, March 22; “The Kids Closet Sale,” March 27, 28, 29. Next concert: April 3, Clint Black

Pennsylvania Playhouse, Bethlehem - Canceled: “Twelve Angry Jurors”

Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra - Postponed: April 4 concert, First Presbyterian Church, Allentown; rescheduled to Aug. 1

Pines Dinner Theatre, Allentown - Postponed: “Nunsensations! the Nunsense Vegas Revue.” Performances suspended through March 27.

PPL Center, Allentown - Postponed: Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, March 18; “Trolls Live!,” April 10-12; “Baby Shark Live!,” June 4. Cancelled: NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Allentown Regional, March 28, 29. Next concert: April 17, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Travis Tritt

Public Libraries - Closed March 14 - March 29

Regal Cinemas - Closed until further notice

Roxy Theatre, Northampton - Closed until further notice.

St. Patrick’s Parades - Canceled, Bethlehem, March 14; Allentown, March 22

Sellersville Theatre - Closed through March 26

Sigal Museum, Easton - Closed March 13, including historic houses; reopening to be announced

State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton - Events postponed until April 2. Postponed: The Fab Faux, March 14, rescheduled to Sept. 12; Postponed: Red Hot Chilli Pipers, March 21; rescheduled to March 11, 2021; “One Night of Queen” by Gary Mullen & the Works, April 4, new date to be announced; “The Daily Show Writers Comedy Tour,” April 18, new date to be announced; The Orchestra: Former Members of ELO, April 25, new date to be announced.

Touchstone Theatre, Bethlehem - Postponed: “The Secret, Act 2,” April 3, 4; rescheduled dates to be announced.

Wind Creek Event Center, Bethlehem - Closed March 15; reopening 6 a.m. March 29. Postponed: Chelsea Handler, March 13; Reba McEntire, March 27, rescheduled to July 18; Air Supply, March 19, new date to be announced; Brit Floyd, March 21, 22, new dates to be announced; Pitbull, March 26, new date to be announced. Next event: Brian Regan, April 2

Paul Willistein is editor of the Focus features section in the eight Lehigh Valley Press newspapers and the eight Press websites. Email Paul Willistein:; follow Paul Willistein on Linkedin; Twitter and Instagram.