January 23, 2016 5:09 pm

All Broadway shows on Saturday shutter as snow builds

Pedestrians make their way across snow covered Broadway January 23, 2016 in New York.


NEW YORK – All Broadway shows – both matinees and evening performances – were cancelled Saturday after New York state officials declared a weather emergency.

A ban on travel in New York and the suspension of public transportation forced Broadway producers and theatre owners to pull the plug only about an hour before 2 p.m. matinees were due to start.

WATCH: U.S. government officials are telling commuters to stay in and not to drive during the monster winter storm impacting most of the U.S. east coast.

Disney Theatrical Productions was the first to cancel, announcing that their “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” would be closed as snow and wind smashed through Times Square.

READ MORE: At least 12 dead as blizzard shuts down much of US East Coast

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“We expect normal operations to resume for tomorrow’s Sunday matinees,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, which represents producers.

The storm didn’t stop the inaugural three-day BroadwayCon – sort of like a ComicCon for thespians – at a midtown hotel. Some 5,000 theatre fans were geeking out on shows and celebrities.

READ MORE: Airlines cancel nearly 6,300 flights due to blizzard

Further north, a Rita Moreno concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center was cancelled, as were performances at the New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, The Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Theater. The Metropolitan Museum of Art was closed, as was The Museum of Modern Art. The off-Broadway show “Fuerza Bruta” was also no match for the storm.

WATCH: The monster winter storm has started to bring snow and ice to parts of the South as people in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast get ready.

The last time Broadway took a big weather hit was Superstorm Sandy in 2012. It darkened Broadway for four days and cost more than $8.5 million in lost revenue.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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