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Downtown venues go red in hopes of saving live entertainment industry

These venues are all in crisis mode because of the coronavirus pandemic, losing out on money daily as they remain closed to the general public.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — The Florida Theatre, 1904 Music Hall, VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena and even Daily Place next to TIAA Bank Field were illuminated in red Tuesday night as part of an initiative to help bring financial aid to live entertainment venues.

These venues are all in crisis mode because of the coronavirus pandemic, losing out on money daily as they remain closed to the general public.

"Performing arts venues are closed because we know that COVID-19 spreads within intimate, closed spaces, which of course perfectly describes a theatre or club," said Numa Saisselin, the president of the Florida Theatre. 

The red lighting, as well as the #RedAlertRESTART hashtag, hopes to draw attention the initiative the "Restart Act," which would provide economic relief that's desperately needed amongst the live entertainment industry for them to remain open.

"We were the first to close and will be the last to open," Saisselin said about the Florida Theatre. "We're happy to do it, but we are without income, and need help."

It also advocates for extending Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to those without work due to COVID-19. Nationwide, there are 12 million show workers who are unemployed.