Theaters, along with all other non-essential businesses, have temporarily closed across the state amid Gov. Mike DeWine's orders to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
These symbols of entertainment and nostalgia within their communities a few over a century old have begun using their marquees as a way to display informative, uplifting or lighthearted messages to the public. Even shuttered theaters, like Over-the-Rhine's Imperial Theater and Bellevue's Marianne Theater, have joined in and offered a guiding voice within their neighborhoods.
Two Northern Kentucky theaters mirror Gov. Andy Beshear's statements, "Andy says flatten the curve;" Esquire Theater's message reads, "could be worse, could be raining," a comically ironic message after a rainy few days last week; a shuttered theater in Over-the-Rhine, Imperial's heartfelt sign reads, "be kind, wash, pray. U, me, we strong. I love you;" and Oakley's 20th Century Theater rejoices after sign-ups for their April 1 blood drive filled up in just 72 hours.
Photos by Hailey Bollinger