CLEVELAND (WJW) — The Beachland Ballroom in Collingwood is back open for business.
They’re having their first indoor concerts in almost a year this week, and they started things off Thursday night with a social distanced packed house..
“Last night we did a five o’clock show and an 8:30 show here. There were 64 people, which is our capacity right now, spaced out, so basically we’re selling tables,” said Beachland co-owner Cindy Barber.
She said everyone has to stay at their table and can’t move around or hang out at the bar. Masked servers bring over drinks and food and you can’t get out of your seat to dance to the music.
It’s a whole new world for a place that when packed can hold about 500.
“So three shows a week versus ten or twelve but at least we’re trying to do something and try to get people employed again, ” she said.
But news that the state is allowing indoor venues to now operate at 25 percent capacity still puts venues like the Beachland in a restricted space. They only have so much room inside the hall and to keep people spaced out, six feet would be difficult if they let in the 125 people per show that the state now allows.
And Barber says they’re first priority is keeping everyone safe inside.
“We’re able to shrink that capacity with dividers and we’re discussing trying to get more of those built but they’re not cheap to construct,” Barber said.
Barber says they’ll keep their capacity what it is for now and concentrate on rescheduling acts that were canceled last year.
She says when they put shows up on their website, people start buying tickets because a lot of folks want to get back out and see good live music.
And she and other owners are hoping that will help keep small music venues going and people working until they can all start dancing again.
“People need to understand that it’s a different world right now but you can still get to see something amazing and that’s what we’re hoping to present to people,” Barber said.