Broadway on POPS

As we look to reopen our city post COVID-19, theaters along with other venues that rely on social gathering will be among the last activities to return. Our proposal is for an achievable, interim way to help accelerate their recovery.

Broadway has announced that they will not open live theater until September. This unfortunate, but necessary, action keeps dormant 41 theaters and almost 100,000 jobs, with hundreds of millions of dollars lost. Independent theaters throughout the city are also shuttered, with the corresponding loss of jobs and ripple boon to the economy.

Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens have over 500 POPS (privately-owned-public spaces). For New Yorkers, these publicly accessible open spaces offer momentary respite from the frenetic energy of the city’s streets. Though they vary in size and quality, they all are administered by the Department of City Planning.

Theater is part of the fabric of New York, and the rebuilding of our city must include the theater. Easily 10-20% of all POPS are sufficiently large enough to accommodate al fresco theater performances while complying to social distancing guidelines throughout the summer.

RZAPS proposes that Broadway theater and other NYC theaters perform in privately-owned-public spaces (POPS) during the warm weather seasons in order to accelerate the revival of jobs and give beleaguered New Yorkers the cultural connection and entertainment they crave.