Host of The Tonight Show Jimmy Fallon announced that, in partnership with Indeed, he would donate $15,000 to Austin's Hideout Theatre during his show.
The improv club, located on 617 Congress Ave., has been closed since early March due to the pandemic. Fallon has been highlighting local comedy clubs that have been hit hard by COVID-19 on his show all week, donating $15,000 and giving a shoutout to each.
"We wanted to help them out a little more than just a shoutout," Fallon said on the show.
Kareem Badr, co-owner and general manager of The Hideout Theatre, said while they are very thankful for the donation, it will only cover a fraction, about 20%, of the theatre's back rent.
"(The donation) was completely out of the blue and a nice bit of good news in a year that has been incredibly challenging," Badr said in an email to Austonia. "The thing we are really hoping for is that the national attention brings the theatre some new audience members and companies interested in our virtual team-building workshops."
Badr said the theatre hasn't opened in effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and it does not plan to open back up until they are confident the virus is under control.
"Businesses where people gather in small spaces for extended periods of time should be literally the last places that open back up," Badr said. "That obviously poses a threat to these businesses and that is why we feel the local, state and federal governments should do more to help them survive while they have to be closed in the name of public health and safety."Though you can't watch the shows in person, The Hideout Theatre still does live shows via Twitch and the cafe is open for to-go orders. Shows are free to watch but the theatre is accepting donations.
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