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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Movies"

Carl Reiner, Multifaceted Master of Comedy, Is Dead at 98

Westlake Legal Group carl-reiner-multifaceted-master-of-comedy-is-dead-at-98 Carl Reiner, Multifaceted Master of Comedy, Is Dead at 98 Writing and Writers The Dick Van Dyke Show (TV Program) Television Reiner, Carl Movies Deaths (Obituaries) Comedy and Humor Caesar, Sid Brooks, Mel

Carl Reiner, who as performer, writer and director earned a place in comedy history several times over, died Monday night at home in Beverly Hills. He was 98.

His death was confirmed by his daughter, Annie Reiner.

Mr. Reiner first attracted national attention in 1950 as Sid Caesar’s multitalented second banana on the television variety show “Your Show of Shows,” for which he was also a writer. A decade later he created “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” one of the most celebrated situation comedies in television history, and teamed with Mel Brooks on the hugely successful “2000 Year Old Man” records. His novel “Enter Laughing” became both a hit Broadway play and the first of many movies he would direct; among the others were four of Steve Martin’s early starring vehicles.

He won praise as an actor as well, with memorable roles in films like “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming” and, more recently, “Ocean’s Eleven” and its sequels. But he spent most of his career just slightly out of the spotlight, letting others get the laughs.

His contributions were recognized by his peers, by comedy aficionados and, in 2000, by the Kennedy Center, which awarded him the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. He was the third recipient, after Richard Pryor and Jonathan Winters.

In his performances with Mr. Brooks and before that with Mr. Caesar, Mr. Reiner specialized in portraying the voice of sanity, a calm presence in a chaotic universe. But despite his claim to the contrary, he was never “just the straight man.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_163865166_0b13c818-a066-417f-9aca-b012a79c5832-articleLarge Carl Reiner, Multifaceted Master of Comedy, Is Dead at 98 Writing and Writers The Dick Van Dyke Show (TV Program) Television Reiner, Carl Movies Deaths (Obituaries) Comedy and Humor Caesar, Sid Brooks, Mel
Credit…Associated Press

“He was a comedian himself, and he truly understood and still understands comedy,” Mr. Caesar said of Mr. Reiner in his book “Caesar’s Hours” (2003), written with Eddy Friedfeld. “Most people still don’t realize the importance of a straight man in comedy, or how difficult that role is. Carl had to make his timing my timing.”

Mr. Reiner was, Mr. Caesar added, “the best straight man I’ve ever worked with.”

As part of a stellar supporting cast that also included Imogene Coca and Howard Morris, Mr. Reiner proved his versatility week after week on “Your Show of Shows,” which ran from 1950 to 1954 on NBC and established the template for sketch comedy on television. He played everything from a harried commuter to a frenzied rock ’n’ roller to an unctuous quiz-show host. But he is probably best remembered as an interviewer, solemnly posing questions to a mad professor, a spaced-out jazz musician or some other over-the-top character played by Mr. Caesar, and adding to the humor simply by being serious.

Mr. Reiner contributed behind the scenes as well. He took part in the frenzied writing sessions that shaped the show, bouncing jokes off the walls of the writers’ room with the likes of Mr. Brooks and Neil Simon.

Credit…Sam Falk/The New York Times

“I became a writer because of that room,” he recalled. “I’d say something and somebody would yell: ‘What do you know? You’re not a writer.’ So I became a writer.”

He characterized his later career moves with similar self-effacing humor in an NPR interview: “I acted like a director. I acted like a producer. I sat in front of a typewriter and acted like a novelist.”

Mr. Reiner’s association with Mr. Caesar encompassed three different series: After “Your Show of Shows” the two worked together on “Caesar’s Hour,” which had a three-year run on NBC, and “Sid Caesar Invites You,” a failed attempt to recapture the “Show of Shows” spirit that lasted less than one season on ABC in 1958.

The next phase of Mr. Reiner’s career found him again in the role of deadpan interviewer. This time the interviewee was Mr. Brooks.

“The 2000 Year Old Man” began as an act Mr. Reiner and Mr. Brooks performed for friends at parties. When they put in on record, it became a phenomenon. There were ultimately five “2000 Year Old Man” albums, one of which won a Grammy and all of which are treasured by comedians and comedy fans.

Mr. Brooks was the star of the largely improvised routines, reflecting on what it was like to be two millenniums old (none of his thousands of children ever visited) and reminiscing about historical figures like Sigmund Freud (“He was a good basketball player; very few people know that”) and Shakespeare (“He had the worst penmanship I ever saw in my life”). But it was Mr. Reiner who came up with the questions that lit Mr. Brooks’s comedic fuse.

Indeed, it was Mr. Reiner who spontaneously started the ball rolling one day during a quiet moment in the Caesar writers’ room. “I turned to Mel and I said, ‘Here’s a man who was actually seen at the crucifixion 2,000 years ago,’” he told The New York Times in 2009, “and his first words were ‘Oh, boy.’”

Credit…D. Gorton/The New York Times

“I always knew if I threw a question to Mel he could come up with something,” Mr. Reiner said. “I learned a long time ago that if you can corner a genius comedy brain in panic, you’re going to get something extraordinary.”

As Mr. Brooks put it, “I would dig myself into a hole, and Carl would not let me climb out.”

In 1960, the same year he and Mr. Brooks made their first album, Mr. Reiner wrote and starred in a pilot for a TV series, based on his own life, about a writer who works in New York for a larger-than-life, difficult-to-please comedian.

The show, “Head of the Family,” was not picked up. It became a series only when it was recast with Dick Van Dyke as the central character.

The workplace scenes in “The Dick Van Dyke Show” — featuring Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie as Mr. Van Dyke’s fellow writers, with Mr. Reiner making occasional appearances as their boss — were inspired by Mr. Reiner’s time with Sid Caesar (although Mr. Reiner insisted that his character was only partly based on Mr. Caesar). The domestic scenes, with Mary Tyler Moore as Mr. Van Dyke’s wife, were set in New Rochelle, N.Y., where Mr. Reiner lived at the time, and Ms. Moore’s character was modeled on his wife, Estelle. Mr. Reiner later attributed the show’s success to the choice of “somebody with more talent to play me.”

Seen on CBS from 1961 until 1966, “The Dick Van Dyke Show” won a total of 15 Primetime Emmy Awards for its cast and crew, five of them for Mr. Reiner as writer and producer. (He won nine Emmys in his career, including two for his on-camera work on “Caesar’s Hour,” one as a writer on a 1967 special that reunited the “Show of Shows” cast and one for a guest appearance, as Alan Brady, on an episode of the sitcom “Mad About You” in 1995.) It is widely regarded as one of the greatest sitcoms of all time.

Credit…CBS, via Getty Images

Someone else once again played Mr. Reiner, or a character very much like him, on Broadway and in the movies. “Enter Laughing,” his autobiographical novel about a stage-struck delivery boy from the Bronx who decides to become an actor, was published in 1958 and adapted for the stage by Joseph Stein, another former member of the Caesar writing staff. With Alan Arkin in the lead role, it opened in 1963 and ran for more than 400 performances.

When “Enter Laughing” was sold to Hollywood, Mr. Reiner shared screenwriting credit with Mr. Stein for the 1967 film adaptation, starring Reni Santoni. It was Mr. Reiner’s third produced screenplay, after “The Thrill of It All” (1963) and “The Art of Love” (1965). More important, it was the first film he directed.

That same year he made his Broadway debut as a writer and director with “Something Different,” the story of a playwright suffering from writer’s block. It received generally good reviews (Walter Kerr of The New York Times praised Mr. Reiner’s “nifty habit of approaching a gag at high speed, passing it on the outside, and then noticing where it went in the rearview mirror”) and had a respectable three-month run. By that time, however, Mr. Reiner’s focus had shifted westward.

He had already appeared in a number of Hollywood movies by the time he and his family moved to Beverly Hills in the late 1960s, and he would continue to show up onscreen occasionally. But for the next three decades, most of his work in Hollywood was done behind the scenes.

Carl Reiner was born in the Bronx on March 20, 1922, to Irving Reiner, a watchmaker, and Bessie (Mathias) Reiner. After graduating from Evander Childs High School in the Bronx, he went to work as a machinist’s helper and seemed headed for a career repairing sewing machines.

Then one day his older brother, Charlie, mentioned seeing a newspaper article about a free acting class being given by the Works Progress Administration, the New Deal jobs agency. Carl tried his hand at acting, found he was good at it, hung up his machinist’s apron and joined a theater troupe. He also acted in summer stock.

During World War II, Mr. Reiner served in an Army entertainment unit that toured American bases in the South Pacific. After his discharge he joined the road company of the musical revue “Call Me Mister” as the comic lead, and within a year he was in the Broadway production.

In the 1949-50 television season he was a regular on “The Fifty-Fourth Street Revue,” a variety series, and in 1950 he was back on Broadway in “Alive and Kicking,” where he caught the eye of Max Liebman, the mastermind of “Your Show of Shows.”

Mr. Reiner married Estelle Lebost in 1943. She died in 2008.

He is survived by his sons, Rob, known for directing “When Harry Met Sally,” “A Few Good Men,” “This Is Spinal Tap” and numerous other films and for his role as Archie Bunker’s son-in-law on the groundbreaking sitcom “All in the Family,” and Lucas, a painter and filmmaker; his daughter, Annie Reiner; and five grandchildren.

Credit…Everett Collection

Mr. Reiner’s first major box-office success as a director was “Oh, God!” (1977), starring George Burns as a very down-to-earth deity. Two years later he teamed with Steve Martin, then at the height of his fame as a comedian, for what proved to be a mutually rewarding collaboration.

Mr. Reiner first directed Mr. Martin in “The Jerk” (1979), a film largely inspired by Mr. Martin’s manic stand-up act. The critical response was lukewarm, but the movie was a box-office smash and now often shows up on lists of the best American comedies.

Credit…Associated Press

“The Jerk,” “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” (1982), “The Man With Two Brains” (1983) and “All of Me” (1984) defined Mr. Martin’s onscreen persona as a lovable goofball and made him a movie star. They also established Mr. Reiner as an imaginative director — especially “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid,” a black-and-white spoof of film noir set in the 1940s, in which he integrated vintage clips featuring actors like Humphrey Bogart and Barbara Stanwyck into the action.

Mr. Reiner returned to Broadway twice after moving west, but neither visit was triumphant. In 1972 he directed “Tough to Get Help,” a comedy by Steve Gordon about a black couple working in an ostensibly liberal white household, which was savaged by the critics and closed after one performance. In 1980 he staged “The Roast,” by Jerry Belson and Garry Marshall, two writers he had worked with on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” That play, about a group of comedians who expose their darker instincts when they gather to roast a colleague, ran for less than a week

Credit…Ric Francis/Associated Press

The movies he directed after he stopped working with Mr. Martin — among them “Summer Rental” (1985), with John Candy, and “Sibling Rivalry” (1990), with Kirstie Alley and Bill Pullman — did only somewhat better. In his 70s, he decided that filmmaking demanded “just too much energy.” He gave it up after making “That Old Feeling” (1997), with Bette Midler and Dennis Farina.

But he remained active in front of the camera, notably as a crook lured out of retirement by the prospect of sharing in the loot from a Las Vegas casino robbery in Steven Soderbergh’s 2001 remake of the Frank Sinatra caper film “Ocean’s Eleven.” He reprised the role in “Ocean’s Twelve” (2004) and “Ocean’s Thirteen” (2007).

On television he had recurring roles on the sitcoms “Hot in Cleveland” and “Two and a Half Men” and guest-starred on “Parks and Recreation,” “House” and other series. He also did voice-over work for a number of cartoon shows.

Mr. Reiner wrote a number of books in addition to “Enter Laughing,” including novels, children’s books and several memoirs, among them “My Anecdotal Life” (2003), “I Remember Me” (2013) and “Too Busy to Die” (2017). In 2017 he was prominently featured in “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast,” a documentary about people who remained active into their 90s. And in his last years he maintained an active Twitter account, which he used primarily for political commentary.

Toward the end of “I Remember Me,” Mr. Reiner said a friend of his had recently asked if he had thought about retiring. Noting that his role on “Hot in Cleveland” gave him “the opportunity to kiss Betty White — thrice — and on the lips,” he offered a succinct response:

“Retire? I may be old, but I am not crazy!”

Derrick Bryson Taylor contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

3 temporary drive-in movie theaters to visit this summer

If you have been waiting for the newest movie releaseseven some of 2020’s most anticipatedyou’re going to have to wait a bit longer. 

No Time to Die, the newest addition to the James Bond lineup was originally scheduled for release in April, and has been pushed back to November. Wonder Woman 1984, with several scenes filmed in the DMV, has also been pushed back to later this year. But there’s good news: You can catch classics in a safe, local way this summer. 

Drive-in movie theaters are popping up across the region in the upcoming weeks. Even if you’re not sitting in your favorite theater seat with a bucket of popcorn, here’s how you can still get your flick fix this season. 

Capital One Center
For four weeks this summer, local residents can head to the McLean Metro to catch family-friendly movies, and offer support to Second Story, a local nonprofit that offers support to homeless youth, teens in crisis and young mothers. Attendance is free (and space is limited), but the Capital One Center is encouraging attendees to make a $25 donation to the organization. Reserve your tickets here, and catch a movie from Saturday, July 11 to Sunday, Aug. 2 such as How to Train Your Dragon and Men in Black. // 1820 Dolley Madison Blvd., Tysons

The Boro
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in the DMV just got better. The Boro is hosting drive-in movies when the sun goes down on summer nights, such as Grease, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and more. Be sure to reserve your tickets here since space is limited, and catch a movie up until Monday, July 20. Plus, you don’t have to bring a car. Bring up to four people, some chairs and a blanket, and you’re good to go! // 8400 Westpark Drive, McLean; $20 per vehicle

The Drive-In at Mosaic
You haven’t been able to catch a movie at the Angelika Film Center yet this summer, but you can still drive in for two days this summer to watch Toy Story 4 and Jurassic Park. The two family friendly classics will be shown on Friday, July 24, with one additional date in August with a film yet to be announced. All watchers will be located on the top level of the market garage, across from Mom’s Organic Market and Hyatt House, and entry costs $28 per vehicle. // Market Garage: 8295 Glass Alley, Fairfax; $28 per vehicle

For more ways to enjoy the summer months, subscribe to our weekly Things to Do newsletters.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump-Comey Mini-Series Will Air Before Election Day

Westlake Legal Group trump-comey-mini-series-will-air-before-election-day Trump-Comey Mini-Series Will Air Before Election Day ViacomCBS Inc Trump, Donald J Television Showtime Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Ray, Billy Politics and Government Murphy, Ryan Movies Lane, Diane Gleeson, Brendan Federal Bureau of Investigation Daniels, Jeff Comey, James B CBS Corporation
Westlake Legal Group 16cbs-comeymovie-01-facebookJumbo Trump-Comey Mini-Series Will Air Before Election Day ViacomCBS Inc Trump, Donald J Television Showtime Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Ray, Billy Politics and Government Murphy, Ryan Movies Lane, Diane Gleeson, Brendan Federal Bureau of Investigation Daniels, Jeff Comey, James B CBS Corporation

ViacomCBS has reversed course.

Days after announcing that its television adaptation of “A Higher Loyalty,” the best-selling book by the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, would appear after the election, the company has moved the broadcast to September.

The director, Billy Ray, sent an email to cast members on Monday expressing disappointment that the mini-series had been scheduled to broadcast in late November on the ViacomCBS cable network Showtime. In the email, which was reviewed by The New York Times, the director said he had completed the project in the spring with the expectation that it would air before Election Day, Nov. 3.

The two-part, four-hour program, “The Comey Rule,” was adapted by Mr. Ray, the screenwriter of “Shattered Glass,” “Captain Phillips” and “Richard Jewell.” It stars Jeff Daniels as Mr. Comey, who served as the F.B.I. director from 2013 until President Trump abruptly fired him in May 2017. Mr. Trump is played by Brendan Gleeson, the actor perhaps best known for his portrayal of Alastor (Mad-Eye) Moody in the Harry Potter movies.

Showtime said in a statement on Wednesday that the mini-series would air on Sept. 27 and Sept. 28.

“A Higher Loyalty” was an instant blockbuster when it was published in April 2018, selling 600,000 copies in all formats its first week. In its pages Mr. Comey likens Mr. Trump to a crime boss and calls him “unethical, and untethered to truth.” Mr. Trump attacked the book and its author, calling him an “untruthful slime ball” in a tweet.

At the time of his firing three years ago, Mr. Comey was the top official leading a criminal investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s advisers had colluded with the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

CBS was among the hundreds of organizations and people that have been the target of attacks by Mr. Trump during his term in office. In a 2018 tweet, the president included CBS reporters among the “fakers” who have “done so much dishonest reporting that they should only be allowed to get awards for fiction!”

Previous attempts by Hollywood to build shows around political figures have not gone according to plan. In 2013, NBC scrapped a mini-series that would have starred Diane Lane as Hillary Clinton before it was filmed.

More recently, the third season of Ryan Murphy’s FX series “American Crime Story: Impeachment” — with a focus on former President Bill Clinton, and with Monica Lewinsky as a producer — was scheduled to make its debut on Sept. 27. FX ended up postponing the release until well after the election, citing Mr. Murphy’s busy schedule.

Mr. Comey was a critic of ViacomCBS’s now-scrapped plan to show “The Comey Rule” after the election, saying in a statement to The Times on Tuesday, “I don’t understand why CBS would sit on a movie about important current events, and I hope the American people get the chance to see it soon.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Americans Face New Virus Limbo as Some Reopenings Are Halted

DENVER — Soaring cases of the coronavirus are forcing cities and states across the country to halt plans to restart their economies and even reimpose earlier limits on public life, increasing worries that premature reopenings could lead to a second round of closures.

In Texas, which reported a record high of more than 5,000 new cases on Tuesday, the governor told local officials they could restrict outdoor gatherings to 100 people and urged residents to stay home. Maine officials called off plans to allow bars to resume serving drinks inside on July 1. The governor of Kansas said rising cases showed that the state was “not ready” to continue easing restrictions. And in parts of central Idaho, where coronavirus cases have exploded in recent weeks, bars are shutting down and gatherings of more than 50 people are again outlawed.

“We may have let our guard down a little bit,” said Julie Gibbs, the health officer in Riley County, Kan., home to Kansas State University, where officials said they would tighten restrictions on large gatherings after the county’s total virus cases increased by 50 percent over the past week.

With the number of new daily cases now rising in more than half of the United States, the debate over whether to reimpose restrictions or push ahead with reopening is creating divides between neighboring cities and states that mirror the scattershot responses that emerged as the country went into lockdown this year.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_173850774_1393a0e2-6f08-4d31-9b96-6a0fb3a1f916-articleLarge Americans Face New Virus Limbo as Some Reopenings Are Halted United States Shutdowns (Institutional) restaurants Movies Coronavirus Reopenings Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Bars and Nightclubs
Credit…Kendall Short for The New York Times

“There’s very little appetite among the American public to go backwards,” said Michael Mina, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “As reopenings started there were no plans for what would constitute a red flag to close things down. People just said, ‘We’re reopening, everything’s fine, let’s move ahead.’”

But public health experts who supported the original shutdowns now worry that governments will not be able to constrain the resurgent coronavirus with a blizzard of shifting restrictions that can change the moment a person crosses a city limit or state line.

Hundreds of city, county and state governments have created their own reopening plans, each with different “phases” of economic reopening and each with their rules for how many people can gather at a party, what portion of a restaurant’s tables can be full and when people must wear masks. The results can be a baffling patchwork, and one that residents are left to navigate on their own.

Much of the new tension over the safety of reopening is playing out in the West and South, where the numbers are getting worse, and has split along partisan lines.

The governors of Louisiana and Oregon, both Democrats, recently paused their plans to ease restrictions on businesses and public life, saying it was not yet safe to more fully reopen. And on Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington ordered most people to wear face coverings in public.

“It is clear that Covid is alive and well in Louisiana, and as we see more people testing positive and admitted to hospitals, we simply are not ready to move to the next phase,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said, noting that about 90 percent of new cases were coming from spread in the community, not within nursing homes or other group living facilities.

But Republican governors in Florida, Arizona, Texas and other states grappling with rising daily case levels have resisted the prospect of locking down again.

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has declined to require Texans to wear masks and said that locking down the state again would be a last resort. But on Tuesday he urged residents to stay home in an interview with the television station KBTX.

“Because the spread is so rampant right now, there is never a reason for you to have to leave your home unless you do need to go out,” he said. “The safest place for you is at your home.”

In Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, said he had “no plans to shut down Utah’s economy” after the state’s epidemiologist warned that the “only viable option to manage spread and deaths will be a complete shutdown” and urged the governor to reimpose tougher limits on public life.

Shelby County, Tenn., which includes Memphis, was poised to ease its coronavirus restrictions to “phase three” last week, allowing businesses to operate at 75 percent of their normal capacity, but county leaders reconsidered as the number of active cases grew to more than 2,000. Since the start of the pandemic, about 8,000 people have been infected across the county, and 165 have died.

“We ramped up to reopen too quick,” said Tami Sawyer, a county commissioner who has urged the county to impose even tighter limitations. “We weren’t ready.”

Credit…Emily Kask for The New York Times

With guidance from governments hard to pin down, the burden of deciding whether to stay open or shut down again in the face of a positive coronavirus test is falling on individual businesses.


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  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated June 24, 2020

    • Is it harder to exercise while wearing a mask?

      A commentary published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering your face during exercise “comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort” and requires “balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.” Masks do alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. “In my personal experience,” he says, “heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask.” Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked, says Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico.

    • I’ve heard about a treatment called dexamethasone. Does it work?

      The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.

    • What is pandemic paid leave?

      The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.

    • Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?

      So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • How does blood type influence coronavirus?

      A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.


Restaurants, electronics retailers, salons and bakeries across the country have been reopening only to shut down weeks later after workers or customers report illnesses — a pattern that business owners fear will repeat itself for months until there is a vaccine or treatment for Covid-19.

In Arizona, Gila River Hotels & Casinos announced on Thursday that three reopened casinos would close again for two weeks because of rising coronavirus cases in the state.

In Idaho, the Boise Fry Company decided to shut down its six locations after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday — a wrenching decision after the business weathered more than two months of being closed and providing only takeout service.

“We were just starting to have a bit of momentum,” Blake Lingle, the restaurant’s owner, said. By Tuesday afternoon, three locations had opened yet again, and workers were deep-cleaning others.

But even as health officials imposed new restrictions on bars and nightclubs in Boise, conservative state legislators met on Tuesday to rail against what they called an infringement of freedoms because of the pandemic limits. Idaho reported 242 new coronavirus cases on Monday, its highest single-day tally, according to a New York Times database.

“What we’re seeing now is the effects of our earlier phases of reopening,” said Ben Ridenhour, a bio-mathematician and assistant professor at the University of Idaho who has modeled the virus’s course through the state. “It’s a little bit scary. The models are showing things are going to be getting worse unless we do something to rectify the situation.”

Credit…Greta Rybus for The New York Times

In Maine, Dewey Hasbrouck decided to impose his own restrictions at his restaurant, Moe’s Original BBQ, by delaying when he reopened the indoor dining room. While Maine is again allowing inside dining, Mr. Hasbrouck said he was not ready to take that step.

Just a week earlier, he closed his two locations in South Portland and Bangor after a part-time employee tested positive for the coronavirus. He has reopened the restaurants, but only for takeout and catering, he said.

“We’re still learning every day,” Mr. Hasbrouck said. “I want to make sure that we’re doing it in the safest way possible so I’m not rushing it.”

Jack Healy reported from Denver, Mitch Smith from Chicago and Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio from New York. David Montgomery contributed reporting from Austin, Texas.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Tysons gets a pop-up drive-in theater

Westlake Legal Group drive_in Tysons gets a pop-up drive-in theater virginia news tysons The Boro ShowPlace ICON Theater Movies Movie News Local News Lifestyle News Latest News jeff clabaugh Health & Fitness News Fairfax County, VA News Entertainment News drive-in theater drive-in coronavirus Consumer News Business & Finance
The Boro is hosting weekend summer drive-in movies in Tysons. (Courtesy The Boro)

Drive-in theaters are few and far between across the country, but those still operating have gained new popularity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and Tysons, Virginia, just got one — although it’s just a pop-up.

Big mixed-use development The Boro is hosting weekend summer drive-in movies, sponsored by ShowPlace ICON Theater, the movie theater that is part of the development but remains closed to moviegoers. DC Fray is also a sponsor.

The pop-up drive-in has been set up in the parking lot of the former National Automobile Dealers Association’s headquarters building, at 8400 Westpark Drive, and the shows will run through at least July 11.

Admission is $20 per vehicle, and chairs or blankets are permitted. Movies start at dusk, roughly 8:30 p.m.

Boro Place, the restaurant and retail area at The Boro, is temporarily closed to traffic on weekends, and is a pedestrian-only zone for outdoor seating at the restaurants.

The movies are family friendly titles, such as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “Back to the Future” and “Jurassic Park.” Movie nights are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with weekend schedules of what’s showing online.

The District is considering a drive-in movie concept for RFK Memorial Stadium, according to the Washington Business Journal.

The closest, permanent drive-in theaters remaining near Washington are the Bengies Drive-In Theatre in Middle River, Maryland, east of Baltimore, and the Family Drive-In Theatre, in Stephens City, Virginia, near Winchester.


More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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China’s Economy Faces Another Hurdle: Darkened Movie Theaters

Westlake Legal Group chinas-economy-faces-another-hurdle-darkened-movie-theaters China’s Economy Faces Another Hurdle: Darkened Movie Theaters Shutdowns (Institutional) Shopping Centers and Malls Shopping and Retail Movies Economic Conditions and Trends Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China

SHANGHAI — To the long list of obstacles holding back the Chinese economy when the world needs it most, add one more: padlocked movie theaters.

The country’s more than 12,000 cinemas have remained stubbornly closed. Reopening them is politically difficult, as the order to keep them shut came from none other than Xi Jinping, China’s top leader.

The rest of the country is trying to get back to business as usual after a devastating coronavirus outbreak this year. Factories, shops, restaurants and bars reopened as much as three months ago and are trying to recapture business lost during China’s biggest crisis in a generation.

Some shop owners and mall operators say they keenly miss the business of moviegoers, who once filled restaurants and retail outlets with after-show business.

“The merchants around the theater are now miserable,” Gao Dezhi, a movie theater manager in Liaoning Province in northeastern China, wrote on the microblogging service Weibo in late May. “The original cinema visitor flow is gone.”

Data released on Monday showed that Beijing is still struggling to get the country’s economy, the world’s second largest after the United States, back in business, although conditions are less grim than they were earlier this spring.

Retail sales in May fell for the fifth month in a row, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said, dropping an unexpected 2.8 percent from May of last year despite increases in sales of cars and groceries and a rise in online purchases. Still, it was a strong improvement over sharper drops in recent months.

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Updated 2020-06-12T10:47:24.488Z

Industrial production statistics for May, also announced on Monday, showed slow but steady improvement. Export statistics for May, released last week, indicated a deterioration since April as overseas demand withered with the spread of the virus.

China is one of the world’s most important growth engines. Getting the world economy back on its feet will be exceedingly difficult if Beijing cannot get China back up to full speed. But widespread job losses have shaken the public’s confidence after the country shut down vast swaths of the economy to contain the outbreak. Many are less willing or able to spend.

The country’s workers will face further challenges in coming months as a global economic slowdown, triggered by the pandemic, reduces the world’s demand for the smartphones, appliances, clothes and other goods churned out by China’s factories.

China itself still faces risks from the coronavirus. A new outbreak in Beijing has prompted the authorities to lock down parts of the city.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_173341326_94ff138f-2cb3-43b9-a5ca-c602f1a2b2ef-articleLarge China’s Economy Faces Another Hurdle: Darkened Movie Theaters Shutdowns (Institutional) Shopping Centers and Malls Shopping and Retail Movies Economic Conditions and Trends Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China
Credit…Roman Pilipey/EPA, via Shutterstock

With those risks in mind, officials have appeared nervous about reopening movie theaters. Cinemas closed in late January, as the coronavirus raced out of the city of Wuhan to hit other parts of the country.

Their continued closure seemed assured after Mr. Xi said they were not needed. Except for a few brief experiments in several provinces, they have stayed shut ever since.

“If anyone wants to watch a movie, just watch it online,” Mr. Xi said during a visit on March 31 to Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province in east-central China.

In a country that is gradually drifting toward one-man rule, no one has dared to challenge that decision publicly. It is part of a pattern of sometimes extreme deference to Mr. Xi that has repeated itself with increasing frequency in recent years.

Just about everything else has opened up across practically all of China. Even live theater has reopened, with customers allowed to occupy every other seat as part of social distancing. In Shanghai, a play has just opened that celebrates how people in Wuhan carried on everyday life as the coronavirus epidemic started there and was then eventually brought under control.

Malls around the world rely to some extent on cinemas to draw people out of their homes, with the hope that they will stay after the movies to dine or go shopping. But regulatory peculiarities have made Chinese shopping malls especially reliant on cinemas to generate foot traffic.

Shopping malls in the United States and Europe often cover many acres in suburban locations where land is fairly cheap. Visitors frequently arrive by car. People may come and go from cinemas without ever walking past or through another business at the same mall.

But China has stringent regulations to limit low-rise urban sprawl. Car ownership is also far less widespread. So shopping malls need to be tall and close to mass transit.

Malls in China typically occupy five to nine floors of a tall building. Cinemas are often on the top floor of the mall. Moviegoers pass many shops and restaurants, ascending and descending a seemingly interminable series of escalators.


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  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated June 12, 2020

    • Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?

      So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • How does blood type influence coronavirus?

      A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.

    • Will protests set off a second viral wave of coronavirus?

      Mass protests against police brutality that have brought thousands of people onto the streets in cities across America are raising the specter of new coronavirus outbreaks, prompting political leaders, physicians and public health experts to warn that the crowds could cause a surge in cases. While many political leaders affirmed the right of protesters to express themselves, they urged the demonstrators to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, both to protect themselves and to prevent further community spread of the virus. Some infectious disease experts were reassured by the fact that the protests were held outdoors, saying the open air settings could mitigate the risk of transmission.

    • How do we start exercising again without hurting ourselves after months of lockdown?

      Exercise researchers and physicians have some blunt advice for those of us aiming to return to regular exercise now: Start slowly and then rev up your workouts, also slowly. American adults tended to be about 12 percent less active after the stay-at-home mandates began in March than they were in January. But there are steps you can take to ease your way back into regular exercise safely. First, “start at no more than 50 percent of the exercise you were doing before Covid,” says Dr. Monica Rho, the chief of musculoskeletal medicine at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago. Thread in some preparatory squats, too, she advises. “When you haven’t been exercising, you lose muscle mass.” Expect some muscle twinges after these preliminary, post-lockdown sessions, especially a day or two later. But sudden or increasing pain during exercise is a clarion call to stop and return home.

    • My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?

      States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.


A study four years ago by the RET China Commercial Real Estate Research Center found that more than half of the people who went to movies at a shopping mall in China bought food and drinks at the mall. More than 40 percent of moviegoers also went shopping, the study found.

Shopping malls and the stores inside are not the only businesses that are hurting these days because of the closure of cinemas.

According to Tianyancha, a Chinese data service on businesses, at least 1,542 cinema companies and movie studios have gone out of business this year. More than 8,000 movie production firms, movie consulting companies and other businesses related to the industry have also failed this year, according to the data.

The mysterious death of a Chinese movie executive captured national attention late last week. Bona Film Group, a Chinese movie studio and cinema chain that is still in business, announced that one of its best-known executives, Huang Wei, had fallen to his death in an affluent Beijing neighborhood.

The company’s announcement said that he had suffered from insomnia and depression and that there was no sign of foul play. The police confirmed his death in a statement but provided no details.

Once Mr. Xi makes a decision these days, lower-ranking officials sometimes carry it out so swiftly that new difficulties pop up. The closure of cinemas is not the only example.

When Mr. Xi ordered northern Chinese provinces to cut smog in late summer of 2017, cadres junked coal-fired school stoves without checking if enough natural gas would be available to provide heat instead. When Mr. Xi also ordered weeks later that Beijing’s population be reduced, local officials bulldozed the homes of tens of thousands of migrant workers with little notice.

A bitterly cold early winter followed, producing nationwide anger over scenes of shivering schoolchildren and homeless migrants.

If the cinema order does not end soon, said Mr. Gao, the movie theater manager, the collateral economic damage could be significant. “If they do not open again,” he said, “many merchants around theaters will face the danger of closing.”

Coral Yang and Lin Qiqing contributed research.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

2021 Oscars Delayed by Coronavirus

Westlake Legal Group 2021-oscars-delayed-by-coronavirus 2021 Oscars Delayed by Coronavirus Movies Los Angeles (Calif) Coronavirus Reopenings Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Academy Awards (Oscars)
Westlake Legal Group 15virus-academy-facebookJumbo 2021 Oscars Delayed by Coronavirus Movies Los Angeles (Calif) Coronavirus Reopenings Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Academy Awards (Oscars)

LOS ANGELES — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Monday that it would push back the next Oscars ceremony to April 25 from Feb. 28, citing the coronavirus pandemic.

The eligibility window for films will extend to Feb. 28 instead of Dec. 31. The organization did not say whether the April 25 show would involve the usual red carpet and live audience.

“Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control,” David Rubin, the academy’s president, and Dawn Hudson, the organization’s chief executive, said in a statement. “For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring and entertaining us during the darkest of times. They certainly have this year.”

The academy said that its Governors Awards, at which lifetime achievement Oscars are handed out and which is not televised, would not take place this fall as planned. “Additional information about the ceremony and selection of honorees will be provided at a later date,” it said. The academy also pushed back the opening for its long-delayed museum in Los Angeles; it will now open on April 30.

For its part, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences said on Monday that its Creative Arts Emmys, at which the majority of Emmys are awarded annually, would be held virtually in September. The main Emmys telecast remains scheduled for Sept. 20 on ABC. The television academy said that discussions are underway “regarding the format.”


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  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated June 12, 2020

    • Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?

      So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • How does blood type influence coronavirus?

      A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.

    • Will protests set off a second viral wave of coronavirus?

      Mass protests against police brutality that have brought thousands of people onto the streets in cities across America are raising the specter of new coronavirus outbreaks, prompting political leaders, physicians and public health experts to warn that the crowds could cause a surge in cases. While many political leaders affirmed the right of protesters to express themselves, they urged the demonstrators to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, both to protect themselves and to prevent further community spread of the virus. Some infectious disease experts were reassured by the fact that the protests were held outdoors, saying the open air settings could mitigate the risk of transmission.

    • How do we start exercising again without hurting ourselves after months of lockdown?

      Exercise researchers and physicians have some blunt advice for those of us aiming to return to regular exercise now: Start slowly and then rev up your workouts, also slowly. American adults tended to be about 12 percent less active after the stay-at-home mandates began in March than they were in January. But there are steps you can take to ease your way back into regular exercise safely. First, “start at no more than 50 percent of the exercise you were doing before Covid,” says Dr. Monica Rho, the chief of musculoskeletal medicine at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago. Thread in some preparatory squats, too, she advises. “When you haven’t been exercising, you lose muscle mass.” Expect some muscle twinges after these preliminary, post-lockdown sessions, especially a day or two later. But sudden or increasing pain during exercise is a clarion call to stop and return home.

    • My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?

      States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.


This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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4 drive-in movie theaters in Virginia to visit this summer

Westlake Legal Group drive-in-theater 4 drive-in movie theaters in Virginia to visit this summer Things to Do Features Things to Do Movies Movie Theater Entertainment drive-in movie theater COVID-19 coronavirus
© Sensvector / stock.adobe.com

Movie theaters may be closed for a little longer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the perfect movie night. Instead of saying at home again, hop in the car and take a trip to a Virginia drive-in theater. Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback during the age of COVID-19 with limited contact and extra social distancing measures put in place. Here are four Virginia drive-in theaters to visit this summer. 

Family Drive-In
Movies shown Wednesdays through Sundays, 8:45 p.m.
Travel up to Stephens City for the classic drive-in experience. With two drive-up screens available, viewers can choose to watch the kid-friendly flick or film for adults. Tickets must be purchased online. // 5890 Valley Pike, Stephens City; $3-$9 per person

Lovingston Cafe
Movies shown Saturdays, 8:30 p.m.
If you’re into classic Hollywood films, take a drive down to Lovingston for some throwback films. The Lovingston Cafe opens its parking lot and patio for Saturday movie nights. Enjoy delicious cafe grub as you start the night off with 30 minutes of classic cartoons before the old-time flick begins. // 165 Front St., Lovingston; free

Goochland Drive-In
Movie dates vary each week, 8:30 p.m.
Enjoy new and classic movies at the Goochland Drive-In. From the newest flicks like, Onward and The Call of the Wild to favorites like Batman and Grease, there is sure to be a show for everyone. Single and double features available throughout the week. // 4344 Old Fredericksburg Road, Hadensville; $18-$20 per car

Hull’s Drive-in Theatre
Movies shown Thursdays through Sundays, 8:45 p.m. 
This community-owned drive-in has been in the business for 70 years. With single and double features available throughout the weekend, just hop in the car for a fun night out of the house. // 2367 N. Lee Highway, Lexington; $10-$20 per car

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Quarantine Cat Film Festival seeks to support local theaters

Westlake Legal Group quarantine-cat-film-festival-seeks-to-support-local-theaters Quarantine Cat Film Festival seeks to support local theaters virtual events virtual Things to Do quarantine pets pandemic Movies movie theaters local theaters film festival film Events Entertainment cats
Westlake Legal Group Evelien-cat-watching-television Quarantine Cat Film Festival seeks to support local theaters virtual events virtual Things to Do quarantine pets pandemic Movies movie theaters local theaters film festival film Events Entertainment cats
© Evelien / stock.adobe.com

The internet has always been a haven for entertaining cat videos. Cats sliding down the stairs, getting stuck in small places or even just being absolutely adorable are all click-worthy. Now, with cat owners from around the world stuck at home with their four-legged friends, the enjoyable videos are getting a celebration of their own. 

The Quarantine Cat Film Festival, set to be held virtually from Friday, June 19 through Thursday, July 2, will feature a compilation reel of cat videos from over 1,200 submissions from amateur filmmakers around the world. Tickets are $12 and go on sale on June 10. 

The best part? About half of the proceeds from tickets will go to an independent movie theater of your choice. The three closest to Northern Virginia include Violet Crown in Charlottesville, Naro Expanded Cinema in Norfolk and Grandin Theatre in Roanoke, but there’s a lengthy list of others to support that may be in your hometown or a place that’s special to you. 

To support a local theater and enjoy the cat entertainment, simply choose the theater you would like to support when you purchase your tickets. You’ll receive access to the virtual event once it goes live online, and enjoy the fun, creative and quarantine-inspired videos of cute cats around the world.

For more things to do at home with your pets, subscribe to our weekly Things to Do newsletter and our monthly Pets newsletter.

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George Mason University alumnus brings Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order video game score to life

Westlake Legal Group star-wars-jedi-fallen-order-video-game-screenshot George Mason University alumnus brings Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order video game score to life vincent oppido Video Games Star Wars school Profiles Music Movies local kids george mason university Family Education Culture Features Culture
Photo courtesy of EA

Star Wars mania continues to span generations, not only with books, movies, collectible items and clothes, but video games as well. The latest of which has a unique Northern Virginia connection.

Arguably, a video game’s soundtrack is one of the most important factors. It can set gamers up for adrenaline rushes, give warnings with suspenseful chords and create ambient sounds for white noise during calmer, transitional points of the plot. Vincent Oppido, a George Mason University alumnus who studied composition and conducting, contributed to the musical score for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the most recent Star Wars video game, collaborating with the team to arrange and compose additional music for the score.

Westlake Legal Group george-mason-university-composer-star-wars George Mason University alumnus brings Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order video game score to life vincent oppido Video Games Star Wars school Profiles Music Movies local kids george mason university Family Education Culture Features Culture
GMU Grad Vincent Oppido contributed to the musical score for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. (Photo by Peter Mackie)

Oppido, a Long Island native who earned his bachelor’s degree in music (2008) and master’s in conducting (2010) at GMU, currently lives in Los Angeles, working as a freelance composer, orchestrator and conductor. He was first approached to work on
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (released November 2019) by one of the game’s main composers, Gordy Haab. “He had heard my music and it’s such a small community out here,” Oppido says. “So people will make recommendations, and I think he just felt
the music I write fits the type of music they wanted for the game.”

The video game’s musical score, led by Haab and co-composer Stephen Barton, was recorded at legendary studio Abbey Road in London with a 90-plus-piece orchestra. “The reality is that a project like this, it’s not just a two-hour movie,” Oppido says. “Video games have an enormous amount of music. People could play these games for dozens of hours. No one on the team was stifled with what they could write. It was the bigger the better. I got to write music in the style that I grew up loving: pure, orchestral music.”

And, what does it take to keep the musical score on brand to represent the Star Wars franchise? “The good thing is because of Star Wars, we already know the sound world because John Williams [the composer who scored the original Star Wars films] established it for us decades ago,” Oppido says. “Gordy wrote the themes with Stephen. They were essentially their tunes, but it was very collaborative. They would be very descriptive of what kind of cue they were looking for. They might start a cue and I would finish
it or orchestrate it. It was different from day to day.”

Westlake Legal Group star-wars-jedi-fallen-order-video-game-cover George Mason University alumnus brings Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order video game score to life vincent oppido Video Games Star Wars school Profiles Music Movies local kids george mason university Family Education Culture Features Culture
Photo courtesy of EA

Other scoring and composing credits for Oppido include Fortnite, CollegeHumor’s Troopers, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 and NBC’s Timeless.

Although Oppido spends most of his days on the West Coast, he will be back in Northern Virginia this summer on the GMU campus to teach a weeklong workshop to local high schoolers, called The Art of Filmscoring. Being held from July 20 to 24, the class covers multiple techniques used to compose music for motion pictures.

“This is the third year I’ll be doing it,” Oppido says. “It’s my way of giving back a little. And, it’s interesting because you learn a lot when you’re experiencing the learning process through young people who are eager and very interested in what you do. You learn from that because they see things differently. I felt very recharged after doing it the first year.”

This post originally appeared in our May 2020 print issue. For more local features, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

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