No “Rowdy” screenings of Cats. No 1,000th screening of Parasite. No screenings of anything, until April 9. That’s the decision Milwaukee Film made today for the Oriental Theatre. Due to concerns of coronavirus/COVID-19, the East Side theater will close March 14 to April 9.

“All tickets purchased will be refunded by end of day Monday, March 16,” says the theater’s website. Here’s a press release:

We believe people need art. We believe people need community. That’s why Milwaukee Film exists.

Following confirmation from state health officials that the novel coronavirus is in our community, we have made the extremely difficult decision to close the Oriental Theatre to public events starting Saturday, March 14, through Thursday, April 9.

As much as people need art and community, the well-being of our patrons and staff are of paramount importance during this unprecedented situation. For the coming weeks, it is readily apparent that we serve the community more by being closed in the interest of their health and safety.

In uncertain times, we can say one thing for certain: We will reopen the Oriental Theatre. Our community is strong, our organization is strong, and art goes on. We won’t stop being a part of what makes Milwaukee such an amazing place to live.

We’ll miss you for the next few weeks, and we’ll keep you in our hearts as we all move forward.