The Hippodrome

In a museum on East University Avenue, a donation box sits empty.

Matheson History Museum, a nonessential business forced to close after a countywide stay-at-home order issued on March 23, relies on this box and membership costs to stay afloat. With the growing need for social distance, those funds are harder to come by. 

“We can’t make a normal pitch for people to help donate or renew their memberships,” said Dixie Neilson, executive director of the museum. “So this is having a huge financial impact on us.”

The museum, located at 513 E. University Ave., has a full schedule of programs prepared for when it is safe to open, and it is planning to start doing walkthrough videos of exhibits on Facebook. 

Local museums like this one aren’t the only businesses facing hardships due to the global pandemic.

Wunderland Custom Tattoo, Anthem Tattoo Parlor, Addiction Tattoos and Anatomic Body Piercing are all closed. Leann Campas, the owner of Anatomic Body Piercing, said the shop was already closed before the mandated order.

“There is no possible way to do a piercing or change out a piercing maintaining a six-foot distance,” Campas said. “We cannot control the airborne factor.”

Since April 5, the piercing shop started to offer curbside pickup for in-stock products, according to the shop’s Facebook.

Clean Cut Barber, Supercuts, Kutters Millhopper and Athletic Cuts are all closed as well, according to the shops’ automatic voicemails or Facebook pages. The owner of Athletic Cuts, Chip Ratliff, said the shop closed a week after the mandated order when a fire marshall informed them they had to close. 

“I think we will be a better country when we come back,” Ratliff said. “I think there is going to be a struggle financially, but Americans love to work. We will come back strong.”

With uncut hair, locals also have to stick with online streaming services to watch movies and shows. 

Both the local Regal movie theaters and the Hippodrome State Theatre are closed. The Hippodrome’s artistic director, Stephanie Lynge, said the theater has managed to keep its staff on payroll with money from previous shows and donations.

“I think we are all worried because we don’t know what comes next, and it’s hard to plan for that,” Lynge said.

Lynge said the theater closed the show it was running, Marie and Rosetta. The theater will continue to make adjustments to adapt and keep the staff and clients safe during and after the pandemic. 

“Theater started back up after the plagues,” Lynge said. “We will exist after this. We just need to ensure the safety of everyone first.”

Contact Anna Wilder at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @anna_wilder.