HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – As the state slowly reopens, many residents are left wondering what happens next.

From office space to the classroom, things will look very different.

That includes how people will experience entertainment.

Summer is right around the corner, but for many, the unofficial kick off is already here. In Connecticut, that means summer movies, golf, and fairs.

Just as the seasons are sure to change in the state, so is the way of life due to COVID-19.

So, what does that mean for group events over the next three months or even three years?

“It took a while to get our patrons used to coming through metal detectors and emptying their bags. They’re very used to doing that now and this will just be something else to get used to once we reopen, there may be staggered entrance times to keep people a little more distance. There’s no crystal ball to let us know exactly what’s going to happen,” said Paul Marte, Senior Communications Manager at Bushnell Theater.

The Bushnell is playing into Broadway’s hashtag Only Intermission Initiative. They are confident they’ll be back, proven by the test of time in the history of the theater.

The thought is they’ll return with smaller things like cabaret acts, to help keep social distancing.

Summer concerts are also on hold. Tom Cantone of Mohegan Sun says, “Though in working with our partners such as Live Nation and various high-profile tours, emulation and adapting to what is still a very fluid situation will occur.”

A pretty easy way to get out for some entertainment while social distancing is drive-in movie theaters.

“It’s really going to be a completely contact-free experience for people,” said Naomi Jungden, General Manager of Mansfield Drive-in.

Which is now a big draw to this type of experience. Interest in resurging for drive-in theaters because they already incorporate social distancing.

Mansfield will be operating at half-capacity with cars spaced 10 feet apart as indicated by giant X’s in spray paint.

They also implemented app and online ordering for tickets and even concessions. Patrons will be required to wear masks when they’re outside their cars like when walking to restrooms.

Is this how things will be three years from now?

“I hadn’t really though about that far. I mean, I feel like as far as the safety of our guests, if it was something that was still recommended to use to continue these guidelines, we would still do it,” Jungden said.

We know fairs across the state have already been canceled, including the Durham Fair, but there’s some potential good news for fair goers in the future.

“We’re trying to make next year even bigger and better to make up for the cancelation for this year,” said Daniel Miramant, President of the Durham Fair.

Some optimism shown in that respect and also potentially for sports fans looking for live play once again, the Travelers Championship will go on in June as scheduled, but at a TV-only event.

Nathan Grube with the Travelers Championship says, “I think everyone (fans and players alike) knows that change is coming and I think there is a general feeling that we will all figure this out together.”

While it’s different to predict what the future holds, whether it be three months or three years down the road, many can’t wait to get back to normal.


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