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North venues began to announce this week they would close in the face of advice on coronavirus


By Margaret Chrystall


ON Tuesday, some of the optimism that had greeted news that many north venues were aiming to stay open in the face of coronavirus/COVID-19, began to wobble.

The Ironworks announced that it would close its doors temporarily from Tuesday amid the growing pandemic.

The popular Inverness venue confirmed the news via an online statement shortly before 11.30am that morning.

Confirming the news via a tweet and broken heart emoji, a statement from the Ironworks team, said: “Following the UK government announcement and advice to step up measures to avoid social contact, we are now temporarily closing the venue from today – Tuesday, March 17.

“It is with a heavy heart to do this, but we feel this is the most responsible course of action to take as the health and safety of our staff artists and audiences is always our number one priority.

Ironworks locator....Picture: Gary Anthony. Image No..
Ironworks locator....Picture: Gary Anthony. Image No..

“We will contact all ticket holders for all upcoming shows as soon as possible and refunds will be available.

“Box office can be contacted to answer any queries on boxoffice@ironworksvenue.com

“Please bear with us as we do the best to answer a large number of customer queries.

“Stay safe.”

Eden Court – which on Friday had headed into the weekend with hopes that it might remain open, though was suggestng updates should be checked regularly on its site and social media – said it was in the business of bringing people together.

But by Tuesday afternoon, the venue was saying that at the current time, due to guidance surrounding COVID-19, delivering their programme was not sustainable.

Let's Do Lunch at Eden Court with Hamish Macdonald...Picture: Callum Mackay. Image No. 037553.
Let's Do Lunch at Eden Court with Hamish Macdonald...Picture: Callum Mackay. Image No. 037553.

Therefore, in line with theatres across the rest of the country, Eden Court, revealed it would close at 5pm to the general public.

Their ambition was to reopen as soon as possible.

“However we are in unprecedented times and we will continue following national guidance and directives,” the statement from the venue and Highland Council went.

“Those who have bought tickets for productions and film screenings between now and April 20 will be contacted by Eden Court within the next week. Please bear with Eden Court colleagues, who will be in touch in due course.”

James Mackenzie-Blackman, chief executive of Eden Court said: “These are unprecedented times. Eden Court needs the support of all those who know the venue, and all those who have a stake in the organisation, to support it over the coming weeks and months.

“Therefore, following discussions with Highland Council, Eden Court staff will, over the coming days and weeks, be invited to support the delivery of Highland Council’s resilience response.”

See: Copy By: .Vue cinema in inverness .Pic By Gary Anthony..SPP Staff.Photographer.
See: Copy By: .Vue cinema in inverness .Pic By Gary Anthony..SPP Staff.Photographer.

Also on Tuesday, Vue Cinema Inverness announced it would close that day, as did the Merlin Cinema, Thurso.

Cromarty Cinema open day..The outside of the building has a minimal design. The car park is still needing work done to it..Picture: James MacKenzie..
Cromarty Cinema open day..The outside of the building has a minimal design. The car park is still needing work done to it..Picture: James MacKenzie..

Cromarty Community Cinema announced it would also close temporarily as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The village cinema, which only opened its doors to a delighted Black Isle public six weeks ago, took the decision following UK government advice about the Covid-19 virus.”

Lyth
Lyth

Caithness, Lyth Arts Centre tweeted on Tuesday: “We’ve taken steps to ensure our audiences are happy and healthy with the current coronavirus situation. We’ve also had to postpone some shows. The situation changes daily and we will keep you all up to date – see lytharts.org.uk/coronavirus-action-plan-at-lac



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