Local entertainment venues hopeful for return of spectators

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Many entertainment venues, theatres and arenas have not had fans in their seats for nearly a year.

In some cases, it caused traditional or recreational forms of entertainment to create productions virtually or stop altogether; however, now some entertainment venues and companies are in the process of trying to bring entertainment and fans back.

New Wave Pro Wrestling in Terre Haute saw one of its highest turnouts in attendance to date last March. After months of virtual shows and matches with limited fans in attendance, co-owner, Michael Guess, said the restrictions have been a struggle for business.

“It’s been hard, it’s been a struggle. Ticket sales are the income of the show, it gets the house taken care of as we speak. But, not having the substantial amount of fans, there’s a cut not only we take as a businesses, but our wrestlers as well,” Guess said.

New Wave Pro Wrestling is preparing to host its first show, May 22. Guess said the Vigo County Health Department has approved the venue to hold 300 people.

Executive producer with New Wave Pro Wrestling, Earl Joseph, said the the return of fans is vital.

“Moving away from the financial aspect of things, a lot of business, like pro wrestling, have suffered,” Joseph said. “Wrestling is based on it’s fans and it’s reactions. We haven’t been able to treat the fans to the entertainment they deserve here in Terre Haute for so long.”

Miles away, another local theatre center has yet to open its doors for spectators.

Previously averaging 10 plus shows a month, Hatfied Hall now acts as a classroom with an occasional virtual production for Rose-Hulman.

“We were really in shock. I think originally we were thinking it’d be a quick turn around,” Daniel Tryon, director of performing arts at Rose-Hulman said. “But, here we are a year later and we’re still not able to welcome fans back into the venue yet.”

Hatfield Hall has postponed the return of fans until fall to ensure student safety, according to Tryon.

“We are really looking forward to seeing folks back in the building and seeing people from our community,” Tryon said.

Under the latest COVID-19 guidelines in the state, before an event can have more than 250 people, it first needs approval by a local health department.

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