Now that performances and film series are bringing audiences back to Clearwater venues Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, Susan Crockett, CEO and president of those venues, announced protocols that have been put in place at all the facilities. Those include the Murray Theatre, the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts and the Margarete Heye Great Room at Ruth Eckerd Hall.
“We continue to review our operating protocols and emerging technology to align with public health recommendations and adopt effective sanitization methods," Crockett said in a news release.
The most obvious protocols include reducing contact. To do so, guests are encouraged to purchase tickets online at rutheckerdhall.com and print them out at home or display them on their phone upon contactless entry. Membership renewals and donations can also be made on the website.
Guests will be asked to wear masks and maintain social distancing guidelines. Seat and table selection are on a first-come, first-served basis. Service stations, such as the bar, will have plastic shields and staff will be masked.
To avoid even further contact from a security standpoint, Ruth Eckerd Hall has partnered with Largo-based company Xonar Technology, using its surveillance system that uses ultra-wideband radar to transmit radio waves. The waves are interpreted through artificial intelligence to detect weapons on a person passing through the gate.
Not only will the technology increase the speed of entry and reduce the need for bag checks and security wanding, its thermal imaging sensors detect elevated body temperatures.
Staff are trained to address contamination risk and to isolate and help guests who need emergency medical attention.
Sanitizing protocols include constant cleaning of high-contact surfaces during events and additional disinfectant stations throughout the venues. All hard and porous surfaces are sanitized with Nisus DSV disinfectant, which is EPA-approved to protect against COVID-19, Hanatvirus, E. coli, hepatitis B and C, avian flu, staph, strep and other viruses and bacteria.
Additionally, a new commercial grade HVAC-PHI air purification system by RFG Environmental Group will be installed at Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Capitol Theater in 79 air handlers to encompass every area of the facilities this month.
Using an oxidation process, the system will reduce the risk of airborne illness by eliminating viruses, mold, bacteria, smoke and air pollutants. It’s been proven effective in hospitals and schools and is recommended by the CDC as protection against COVID-19.
The announcement also pointed out that as a non-profit, “Ruth Eckerd Hall needs contributions to help with our recovery fund and to continue to support our improvements that will ensure the safety of our guests visiting our facilities.”
Upcoming performances include concerts by Henry Paul and Henry Gross of the Outlaws (Sept. 11-12) and Greg Billings and Friends (Sept. 18-19) at Ruth Eckerd Hall in the Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton Cabaret Theatre. The films Space Jam (Sept. 13) and The Big Lebowski (Sept. 15) will screen at the Capitol Theatre. For tickets and more information, visit rutheckerdhall.com.