Theatres close, filming ceases, glittering premieres are abandoned: Hurricane Sandy stars (and causes chaos) on New York's arts scene

  • @matildbattersby

New York’s theatres and cinemas have battened down the hatches as the city braces itself for hurricane Sandy.

Major on and off-Broadway shows to have been cancelled include Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Mary Poppins, Evita The Lion King, and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

Many productions were suspended last night and will remain closed today in preparation for what is expected to be the biggest Atlantic tropical cyclone in a decade.

The storm is predicted to pass possibly within 100 miles of New York and NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg announced yesterday that the city's Subway system would close down at 7pm EST last night.

“As a result of the suspension of public transportation by government authorities in preparation for the incoming storm, all Broadway performances in NYC on Sunday evening and Monday 29 October are cancelled,” said a statement on The Broadway League website.

The threat of the disastrous storm, nicknamed Frankenstorm, also put paid to the glittering New York premiere of Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina which stars Keira Knightley last night. Tonight’s screening of the Denzel Washington film Flight will not go ahead. And Universal cancelled its Monday screening of The Man with the Iron Fist.

Production of high profile television filming was also disrupted. Mayor Bloomberg also suspended all outdoor shooting permits until further notice, affecting CBS dramas such as Elementary, The Good Wife, Blue Bloods as well as The Carrie Diaries and Gossip Girl.

Production at Brooklyn’s Steiner Studios has been halted. Warner Brothers has delayed production of Winter’s Tale as “a precaution”.

Yesterday most New York cinemas had closed their doors by 3pm.

The music industry was not immune from the chaos either, with Rita Ora, the xx and John Legend all forced to cancel shows.

Broadway, cinemas, concert halls and production studios could remain shuttered well into this week as the tropical winds are not expected to abate until Wednesday.

A 12ft storm surge has been forecast in the New York City area.

So far around 60 people have been killed after Hurricane Sandy ripped through the Caribbean.