Southeastern’s historic Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts reopened on Saturday, October 3, with a new season and new safety measures in place. Columbia Theatre Artistic Director Jim Winter wants patrons to know they take their safety very seriously.

“No activity is 100 percent safe, but we are committed to providing you with the safest possible theatergoing experience,” he said. “We have installed bipolar ionization air filtration units throughout the building. We will also thoroughly sanitize the entire facility in between all shows and events and have implemented reduced capacity seating to allow for proper social distancing.”

Current state mandates require patrons and employees to wear masks at all times while inside the venue, Winter said. Entering and exiting the building have also been taken under consideration.

“The Hainkel Auditorium of Columbia Theatre features seven points of entry and exit for patrons and two stairways leading to and from the third floor loge and balcony seating,” Winter added. “The elevator will be limited to two people at a time, and Columbia ushers and staff members will be on hand to help patrons find the quickest and safest entry and exit points.”

Additionally, a plexiglass barrier has been placed at the box office so patrons can safely purchase tickets in person. Box office hours are Monday–Friday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased online or by phone at 985.543.4371.

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