On May 24, 2021, the Slovak Theater in Uherské Hradiště started playing for audiences again after a several-month forced pause caused by government measures against the spread of the coronavirus. The capacity of the auditorium, which is 382 seats, can only be filled by half so far, the theater workers have pasted at least photos of the spectators who regularly go to the auditorium on the free seats.
Prague – Traditional culture in the Czech Republic lost more than 3.7 billion crowns during the coronavirus pandemic. By this amount, the operating result of museums and galleries, monuments, libraries, theaters and other cultural facilities, adjusted for subsidies, was lower during the years 2020 and 2021 compared to 2019. The attendance of cultural facilities in 2021 compared to 2019 fell by more than half , however, rose by almost six percent year-on-year. The Czech Statistical Office announced this on its website today. The government's anti-epidemic measures included the closure of theaters, cinemas, museums and other cultural facilities.
“Measures against the spread of the covid-19 pandemic have had the greatest impact on traditional culture, especially performing arts and cultural heritage,” said the CZSO. These two areas, which include museums and galleries, monuments, libraries and theaters, had a profit of almost 375 million crowns in 2019, but in the pandemic years 2020 and 2021, they plunged into losses of 100 million crowns.
Although the operating subsidies were higher, for example in 2020 they increased by 1.7 billion crowns year-on-year, but without them the performing arts and cultural heritage lost billions. “This amount, i.e. CZK 3,766 million, represents the real economic impact of two years of the pandemic on the management of cultural institutions in the field of cultural heritage and performing arts,” the CZSO added.
The consequences of the pandemic have also affected workers in culture. “It did not concern the earnings of permanent employees, whose average nominal wages increased by 9.9 percent during the two years of the pandemic, but workers on the basis of agreements and also performers and authors receiving royalties,” said Jaroslav Novák from the National Information and Advisory Center for Culture (NIPOS ). According to the CZSO, the volume of royalties fell by more than one billion crowns, of which by 586 million in the performing arts and by 439 million in publishing.
After a significant decrease in the first year of the pandemic, attendance at cultural institutions in 2021 increased by 5 year-on-year .8 percent. “Compared to 2020, the number of visitors to cultural centers, historical monuments, cinemas and theaters increased most significantly in 2021. On the other hand, libraries, for example, have experienced a decrease, but they have been dealing with a long-term decline in physical visits,” added Ivo Krobot from the Department of Development Statistics of the CZSO.
Cultural performances were limited by the government in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus due to the fact that a larger number of people gather at them. In both pandemic years, the restrictions were milder in the summer months and for events held outdoors, the wearing of respirators or whether participants were vaccinated against the coronavirus also played a role. The restriction on the number of people at mass events ended completely at the beginning of March last year.