The Suffolk Theater on July 16, 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic shutdown. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Suffolk Theater, like many other performing arts venues across New York, will require vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test to attend events. 

Guests will need to provide their vaccination card, Excelsior Pass or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event to enter the venue. The first two shows of the theater’s reopening are scheduled for next weekend. 

“The circumstances surrounding the COVID virus continue to evolve. With the recent announcements that Broadway, as well as AEG (the world’s second largest presenter of live music and entertainment events), peer theaters and festivals on Long Island and others are requiring proof of vaccination or a recent COVID test to enter their concerts and events – for the safety of our patrons and very importantly, our employees and artists, we are going to require the same,” theater management said in a statement released yesterday. 

RiverheadLOCAL reported the theater would require vaccinations in June, when it first announced its reopening plans after a pandemic shutdown of nearly a year and a half. Director Dan Binderman said the vaccine requirement would allow the theater to operate at full capacity and not require social distancing or masks in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

The theater noted in its statement yesterday that the policy is subject to change “as circumstances surrounding the COVID pandemic and related variants evolve.”

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.