LOS ANGELES - L.A. is a big place, but within it is a small place with a big problem. It's the North Hollywood Arts District and they are fighting for their collective lives.
No doubt, you've seen actor Joe Mantegna in TV shows like "Criminal Minds," but right now his mind is on the future of live theater.
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Says the actor, "When they say we're all in this together that literally means we're all in this together in terms of every human being on this planet."
But, the future of that one-square-mile part of the planet referred to as the NoHo Arts District is worrisome. There are over 20 theaters, some 15 to 20 bars and restaurants...and they're all suffering. Ronnie Marmo is the artistic director for Theater 68.
He tells FOX 11, "It's a ghost town over there right now and it's scary." He calls the situation "dire" adding, We're in trouble and many of them may not make it through."
He and others like Nancy Bianconi who heads up NOHOArtsDistrict.com say there are about 18 theaters of the 22 there that could go belly. So, an emergency Hail Mary: a GoFundMe campaign! Bianconi says, "We are doing a campaign. We are trying to get rent paid for two months for our theaters and we're asking for our total project costs of $108,000."
Bianconi says that's enough month to pay landlords the rent for two months for 18 theaters not being used. Otherwise, she says, they could close permanently.
And, even if they survive the two months what happens when theaters do reopen? Will people want to go back to public places and sit in theater seats next to strangers?
Mantegna says, "The idea of people going into a public place, big venues, Broadway together that don't know each other - that's going to happen gradually." He says that may be a good way to start when they can swing their doors open again.
The GoFundMe address is https://www.gofundme.com/f/savenohotheatres.