Long Island Entertainers Renew Calls For COVID-19 Relief

Adventureland in Farmingdale is Long Island’s longest-running amusement park.

Long Island entertainment industry leaders renewed Friday their push for Congress to pass legislation that would bail out businesses struggling to bounce back after being shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Save Our Stages Act, which would provide financial relief for music venues, theaters, and others in the entertainment industry, is pending in the U.S. Senate after passing last month in the U.S. House of Representatives. Some in the industry have gotten creative while it waits for help to arrive. 

“We pivoted to bring our Adventureland family to the Long Island community,” Steve Gentile, managing partner and owner of Adventureland in Farmingdale, said of the amusement park switching to drive-in movies and drive-in concerts this summer.

Amusement parks and large concert venues statewide were closed along with most other businesses to curb the spread of coronavirus when its spread peaked in New York in March. But such venues were among a handful of industries that were left out of the fourth and final phase of the reopening plan. So were gyms, bowling alleys, casinos, malls, and movie theaters, but those industries were belatedly allowed to reopen.

“This is something I haven’t seen in my 30 years of doing this,” said Brian Rosenberg, an entertainment industry publicist. 

Supporters previously started a petition urging New York State to allow Adventureland to reopen. Its normal season would have ended last month. Now Gentile is hoping it will get the green light to resume operations in the spring.

“I’ve learned as we’ve gone through the pandemic that one of the most important things you can do is two-fold,” said Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer. “Listen to the medical professionals and listen to the operation professionals.”

Related Story: Laser Bounce Family Fun Center Owner Calls on Cuomo To Reopen Attractions

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