French theater, cinema workers protest against virus closure

By The Associated Press undefined

PARIS (AP) — Thousands of people working in the French theater and cinema industries demonstrated in Paris on Tuesday against the prolonged closure of entertainment facilities amid the coronavirus pandemic.

France earlier Tuesday lifted a partial lockdown imposed on Oct. 30, but will still maintain strict measures at least until Jan. 7, including a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., as numbers of infections remain high.

Theatres, cinemas and other performance halls, together with bars and restaurants, will remain shut over the holidays.

Workers in the cultural sector gathered at Place de La Bastille, in front of the modern opera house that has been closed for weeks.

Among them, Veronique Bellin, deputy director of the new theatre of Montreuil in the eastern suburbs of Paris, said health measures had been in place before the lockdown to protect spectators.

“Today we see that the government accepts that churches reopen, and these are the exact same conditions, but people can’t go to the theater or cinema. We don’t understand,” she said.

The government announced last week a 35-million euro ($42 million) additional support package for the cultural sector. Yet protesters expressed fears that many jobs won’t survive the crisis.

Stage set designer Thibault Sinay said: “We hear about big money being announced but, for theatre productions and creations, we don’t see any money coming. It’s really hard for us.”

It is the second time French theatres and cinemas have been closed down to slow the spread of Covid-19. They were shut from March to June, during the first lockdown.

Health authorities said they registered over 10,000 new confirmed daily infections last week. On Monday, they reported 372 deaths from COVID-19 in hospitals, bringing the country’s overall death toll to more than 58,000.

Latest in News

TIME Influential 100

News

TIME Magazine Releases 2021 List of 100 Most Influential People

Tarana Burke

News

Marc Lamont Hill and Tarana Burke Talk New Book Advocating for Black Women

News

Court Vacates 3rd-Degree Murder Conviction for Mohamed Noor

News

UNICEF: 1 Million Nigerian Kids to Skip School Due to Mass Kidnappings

Racial Injustice Elijah McClain

News

Probe Reveals Aurora Police Has Pattern of Racially Biased Profiling

News

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Wants City to Sue Area Gangs

News

Banana Taped to Dorm Door of Two Black Students at Rhodes College

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

News

Watchdog Group Files Ethics Complaint Against AOC After Met Gala