Three of Philadelphia's largest downtown theaters will require proof of vaccination from all attendees of shows during the upcoming fall season, which starts Sept. 18, officials with the Kimmel Cultural Center said Monday.
The requirement will be for all shows at the Kimmel Center, the Merriam Theater and the Academy of Music. Children under the age of 12 will be exempt from the requirement.
The decision by the umbrella organization for the three theaters follows a similar mandate from other metropolitan cultural institutions across the United States, like the Kennedy Center in New York City, as well as concert organizers like Live Nation.
Concerts recently held on the beach in Atlantic City, for instance, required proof of vaccination to attend.
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The head of the Kimmel Cultural Center said the decision comes after a joint survey with 35 other cultural organizations of more than 1 million concertgoers across the country.
"This ongoing research, in tandem with guidance from health authorities, is also informing a rigorous set of health and safety guidelines," Anne Ewers, president and CEO of the Kimmel Cultural Campus, said in a statement. "We have learned that 99% of our audiences are already vaccinated, and they are ready to engage with the arts in person once again. We are listening to feedback from our guests, our staff, and our artists, and the clear consensus is safety should be our number 1 priority as we navigate a return to convening around the arts. Requiring proof of vaccination for events across our Campus is a vital and responsible component of reopening."
The Kimmel said that all ticketholders will be notified in advance of the vaccine requirement and how to submit proof of it. Audiences are encouraged to visit the Kimmel's Safe and Clean Commitment page online for health and safety guidelines and instructions.