AURORA – The Paramount Theatre is pushing back the start of its new Broadway season because of the pandemic.

"Rock Of Ages" had been set to open the Paramount Theatre's 2020-2021 season on Sept. 2. Paramount Theatre President and Chief Executive Officer Tim Rater announced Wednesday the season will not start on time.

"We hope the delay is brief," Rater said in a letter to supporters posted on the Paramount Theatre's website. "Ensuring the health and well-being of you, our artists and our staff is of utmost importance. We’ve been monitoring guidelines from county and state health experts about reopening. And we’re in dialogue with artists’ unions and other leaders within our industry about new processes and procedures that will best serve all who come to the Paramount."

The Paramount Theatre has been closed since March after being forced to cancel performances of "The Secret of My Success" in reaction to an order by Gov. JB Pritzker on banning gatherings of more than 1,000 people to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

On June 26, the area moved into phase 4 of Pritzker's Restore Illinois plan, which allows cinema and theaters to reopen with capacity limits and approved safety guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health. Gatherings of no more than 50 people are allowed, with this limit subject to change based on the latest data and guidance, according to the plan.

"When we reopen (and we will reopen), we anticipate having a reduced capacity and social distancing," Rater said in the letter. "We may have to work with you on special seating needs for the first show."

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