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Florida Theatre establishes relief fund to help its show workers

The historic nonprofit theatre is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 22 full-time employees on its payroll.
Credit: The Florida Theatre

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. β€” As the historic nonprofit Florida Theatre shuts its doors to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the organization is launching a relief fund to continue paying its show workers who are out of work with no shows to bring in revenue.

The theatre has 22 full-time workers, according to Florida Theatre president Numa Saisselin, along with part-time show workers including stagehands, bartenders, security and box office workers. Those employees are out of an income while the theatre is shut down.

The theatre's board of directors is asking the public to contribute to a relief fund for those workers. The average wages per night total about $6,000, making $144,000 in lost wages for the 24 shows that have been canceled or postponed due to the virus, Saisselin said.

β€œIn a high tech world, the arts and entertainment are still a people business, and we have to look out for each other at this difficult time,” Saisselin said.

The theatre plans to keep all of its full-time employees paid for as long as possible.

You can donate to the Florida Theatre Show Worker Relief fund by clicking here. Anyone who donates $50 or more will receive a complimentary pair of tickets to a Summer Movie Classics screening of their choice this summer.

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