The Hollywood Bowl is canceling its entire season for the first time in the storied venue’s nearly 100-year history.
Earlier this year, the Bowl posted a health advisory indicating performances would go ahead as planned, but advised people to stay home if they had symptoms of the illness. A statement was posted on the association’s site early Wednesday afternoon with an update.
The decision was in response to guidance from public health officials. It will likely result in a roughly $80 million budget shortfall and furloughs for about 25 percent of its non-union workforce, the LA Philharmonic Association said in a statement. Furloughs also will affect the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra through Sept. 30 and seasonal Bowl employees will be laid off, according to the statement.
“Prior to these decisions, the Association reduced all non-essential expenses, laid off its part-time employees, instituted salary reductions of 35% in aggregate, and made the decision to draw from its endowment,” the Association said. “These cost-saving measures will continue through the summer.”
The Bowl officially opened in 1922. During that time, crowds have seen world famous performers in the picturesque Hollywood canyon setting. During World War II, audience sizes were limited to 5,000 due to war-time safety concerns, but this is the first time the venue has canceled an entire season.
In 1951, the venue was temporarily closed for about two weeks after a performance of Johann Strauss’ ‘Die Fledermaus’ bombed in costly fashion, according to the Los Angeles Times. Civic leaders and residents raises money through an emergency fund, and performances returned less that two weeks later.