Alhambra will require masks for patrons

The policy starts with the Pennyroyal Arts Council's next concert, featuring the band Trigger Hippy, on Sept. 18.

The Alhambra Theatre will have a mask requirement for patrons entering the building starting with the downtown venue’s next live performance, the Trigger Hippy concert on Sept. 18. 

Margaret Prim, executive director of the Pennyroyal Arts Council, announced the new policy in an email Tuesday to people who have purchased tickets for the concert. The nonprofit arts council manages the Alhambra, a county-owned property. 

“At this stage in the pandemic, with the delta variant on the rise, the rollout of vaccines, and the numbers of our patrons now fully inoculated against COVID-19, we can create an environment that is as safe as possible moving forward,” Prim wrote for the arts council. “Our decision to move forward with creating an environment where we request that all patrons wear masks when moving indoors, will allow even more psychological comfort that our facility is as safe as possible. All guests are welcome; however, masks will be required when entering the building.”

She added, “We will try to make it as easy, seamless, and friction-free as possible. Hopefully, this temporary system will facilitate the end of this pandemic and horrible bit of history for our world. It has been devastating for so many, including us in the live performance world. Accommodating this policy, leaving all politics out of it, will allow artists to earn a living again, our staff to be employed, and the arts to have a place in our society again.”

The policy will require everyone who enters the theatre to wear a mask. Anyone who says they cannot wear a mask will have to show proof of full vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of entering the theater. 

Prim told Hoptown Chronicle that most arts venues around the country are beginning to implement policies like the one she announced for the Alhambra.

“We are trying to make sure we don’t have to close down an industry again,” she said. “I hope that everybody would realize that it’s important to not have to close the doors again.”

Following the Trigger Hippy concert, the arts council will starts its 2021-22 Live at the Alhambra music series in early October. The series includes:

  • The Stylistics on Oct. 2
  • Music City Hit-Makers on Oct. 29
  • Mary Gauthier on Nov. 13
  • Pam Tillis on Dec. 10
  • Black Violin on Feb. 4
  • Motones vs. Jerseys on Feb. 25

Currently, there is not a state mandate for masks inside public entertainment venues such as the Alhambra, and there are no capacity limits on theaters as there were in 2020. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone (including people who are fully vaccinated) wear a mask at indoor public places and crowded outdoor settings in areas of the country with high COVID-19 numbers. The entire state of Kentucky has high case numbers.

On Monday, state officials announced that there were 1,893 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Kentucky — more than any other time since the pandemic began

The Alhambra will still sell concessions and patrons will be able to remove their masks in their seats to eat and drink. Prim said she and the rest of the arts council staff and board members want patrons to keep their masks on as much as possible to ensure the Alhambra remains a safe place for the community.

Alhambra will require masks for patrons

Jennifer P. Brown | Hoptown Chronicle

Jennifer P. Brown is co-founder, publisher and editor of Hoptown Chronicle. You can reach her at She spent 30 years as a reporter and editor at the Kentucky New Era. She is a co-chair of the national advisory board to the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, governing board president for the Kentucky Historical Society, and co-founder of the Kentucky Open Government Coalition.