Queensland bars, cinemas and music venues shut for coronavirus

By Ethan Anderson Updated
Queensland pokies venues broken into

The Brisbane Times is reporting that Queensland’s bars, cinemas and music venues will close amid coronavirus.

There has been a mixture of closures and resilience across the sectors in the face of national restrictions on mass gatherings.

Some of the River City’s major venues have announced they will close for weeks, performers are cancelling tours en masse and those excited to become citizens have had their ceremonies cancelled.

In the latest update, Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said non-essential gatherings of more than 100 people should be cancelled, in line with federal government recommendations.

“This will affect cinemas, entertainment venues, pubs and clubs and large restaurants,” he said.

“It will not affect airports, public transport, medical facilities, emergency services, aged care, courts, prisons, our Parliament, supermarket, offices, schools, universities or construction sites.

“There will be more information to come about which operations this will affect and how it will apply to the exceptions.”

Netherworld Bar and Arcade in Fortitude Valley has announced it will shut down for at least two weeks amid growing concerns over the current global novel coronavirus pandemic.

“These are strange, strange times. It is with a heavy heart that we announce that we’ll be closed as of Wednesday until at least the end of March,” the venue posted on Facebook.

“With our arcade machines, board games and interactive events, Netherworld is a relatively contact heavy venue and a busy venue.”

Live music venue The Tivoli has also confirmed it will close until May 1, with all upcoming gigs and events postponed or cancelled.

Brisbane’s The Met Nightclub will close this weekend and make further decisions regarding next week in the coming days.

The Beat Megaclub in Fortitude Valley announced from Wednesday onwards it would only open its Black Marble Bar and it will open at 8pm on Sunday instead of the usual 5pm.

“Due to these new federal government restrictions, and for the safety of our patrons and staff, we are only permitting a maximum occupancy of 100 people,” venue management said on Facebook.

Live music venues Fortitude Music Hall and The Triffid remain open, but have cancelled and postponed shows in response to government restrictions on large public gatherings and individual performers requests.

Full details are available on their websites.

Other venues that have confirmed they remain open despite the coronavirus pandemic include Ric’s Bar, Fridays Riverside, Treasury Casino, the Osbourne Hotel, the Port Office Hotel, the Brisbane German Club and Strike Bowling Bars.

Some cinemas and citizenship ceremonies are shut down

Meanwhile, Palace Cinemas, with theatres at The Barracks and James Street in Fortitude Valley, have announced they will be shut indefinitely from Thursday onwards, in response to the pandemic.

“Palace Cinemas has reviewed advice from the Australian government regarding non-essential services and public gathering mandates…we’ve made the difficult decision to temporarily close all Palace Cinema locations… to protect both our staff and patrons,” the company said in a statement.

Reading Cinemas has confirmed they remain open, while Event Cinemas and Red Hill Cinemas have not specifically addressed the issue, but continue to advertise screenings and special offers.

On Wednesday, Brisbane City Council responded to Brisbane Times questions regarding citizenship ceremonies and confirmed one scheduled for next month had been cancelled.

“Citizenship ceremonies would not comply with the current gathering restrictions and will be cancelled,” the council said in a statement.

“The next citizenship ceremony was schedule for April 27.

“Council has made the decision to cancel this ceremony in its current format and has formally advised the Department of Home Affairs.”

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