You literally can't throw away your shot, to riff on the popular tune, if you want to see "Hamilton" when it reopens at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre on Aug. 17. The venue on Friday announced it will now require proof of vaccination in order to attend the show, or any show, through Oct. 10, when the policy will be reassessed.
The move comes as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to threaten the country's recovery, and once again shakes up the plans of theaters struggling to return to indoor performances after nearly 18 months of pandemic closures. The new requirement comes on the same day that Broadway announced it will require proof of vaccination to attend performances at 41 prominent venues.
In both cases, children under 12, who cannot yet be vaccinated, must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of a given show. At the Pantages, children under 5 will not be admitted.
It remains to be seen what effect the rapid spread of the Delta variant will have on attendance, but local theater leaders — particularly at the city's many 99-seat venues — have expressed concern that pandemic-fatigued guests will once again hunker down and shy away from sitting together inside, particularly now that social distancing is no longer required by the health department.
Over the past few weeks, a growing number of theaters and performing arts organizations in the city are requiring proof of vaccination, including Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Geffen Playhouse and L.A. Theatre Works. Center Theatre Group, which is not planning to reopen until Nov. 30 at the Ahmanson, this week said it would require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for admission to its shows. L.A. Opera, which plans to reopen on Sept. 18, is requiring mandatory vaccination for staff and artists but has yet to release a policy for guests.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.