Little Theatre now requiring proof of vaccination

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Little Theatre is now requiring guests 12 and older to show proof of vaccination and photo ID.

Masks are still required except when seated, eating or drinking.

The Little is accepting vaccine cards, including photocopies of them, the Excelsior Pass or another type of government-issued vaccine record as proof of vaccination status.

The rules apply to all film screenings, concerts, and events.

The Pitkin Street Café entrance is closed, and at the East Avenue and Winthrop Street entrances, guests will be greeted immediately and asked for proof of vaccination.

The box office at the Winthrop Street entrance has also been moved closer to the entrance so that guests can show proof of vaccination and buy tickets.

"They’ll come in, they’ll see someone right away," said Communication Director Scott Pukos. "They can buy their movie ticket there. We’ll check both the ID and vaccination proof. Again it’s not just the vaccination proof. We do need the ID as well just so we can match up the person correctly."

Pukos said children under 12 must wear a mask along with everyone else unless they’re eating, or drinking. Pukos said the new rules are being implemented after reviewing feedback, and suggestions from their regulars.

"Requiring the vaccination proof is something that is both safe for staff, and for members, and patrons of the little so that what we wanted to do," Pukos said.

The theater is also requiring staff, volunteers, musicians, and performers to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times.

News10NBC asked Rochester Chamber of Commerce Chairman Bob Duffy why so many businesses are putting this type of policy into effect.

"I do think when a business does, goes above and beyond on their own they’re exercising their freedom as a business to do that, and people have a choice whether to go in so they should not feel impacted. If you don’t want to go in, don’t go," Duffy said.

We also asked him, "Why now?"

"Well, I think with the spread you know maybe they’re anticipating a spike with the delta variant," Duffy said. "You know getting into the cold weather, think about it, maybe less outside activities more indoor activities which could exacerbate that problem as well. It’s so hard to follow these spikes as we’ve seen over the last couple of years, but you know people want to be careful."

Last week Rochester Institute of Technology sent out a letter to all of its staff requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all of its employees.

The letter read in part, "We greatly value all of you, our faculty and staff, and so we hope that this new requirement will not cause us to lose employees. However, after December 8, anyone who chooses not to comply with the vaccination requirement will be removed from RIT’s payroll, and dismissal proceedings will begin."

RIT employees do have the option to apply for a medical, disability, or religious exemption.

Click here to see what other businesses and venues in the area are requiring proof of vaccination in order to enter.