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Dallas' A-Kon 2020 Convention Canceled

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Theater chains throughout U.S., U.K. shut down

Texas anime convention A-Kon announced on Monday that this year's convention is canceled due to concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus illness. Organizers said that the tentative dates for the next A-kon are June 24-27, 2021.

This year's event was scheduled to be held at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas from May 21-24. Next year's event will return at the same location. Staff changed the venue of the convention from Fort Worth to Dallas in 2019.

Bandai Namco Entertainment announced on Tuesday that The [email protected] Shiny Color Spring Party 2020 event is canceled. As of Monday, the event was still listed as taking place at Pacifico Yokohama National Convention Hall from March 21 to 22.

Many theater chains have indefinitely closed all locations throughout the United States as of Tuesday. Theater chains that have closed so far include Regal Cinemas, AMC, Showcase Cinemas, Landmark Theatres, Cineplex Odeon, and Alamo Drafthouse. AMC stated that its locations will remain closed for at least six to 12 weeks. The theater chains Odeon, Cineworld, and Picturehouse also closed all locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said on February 27 that the government is asking elementary, junior high, and high schools to close until the end of spring break in early April to contain the spread of COVID-19. The government is also encouraging children and others to stay home and avoid large gatherings for the next few weeks. The Japanese government asked last Tuesday that organizers of large events cancel or modify their plans for 10 more days, beyond the original window of mid-March. In March, venues and events such as Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea, Universal Studios Japan, Ghibli Museum, Sanrio Puro Land, NAMJATOWN, and AnimeJapan are canceled, downscaled, or temporarily closed.

The first reported cases of COVID-19 were in Wuhan, China in December, and then the disease began to spread in varying rates and intensities across many parts of the globe through incubation in human hosts. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a world health emergency on January 30, and announced on Wednesday that it is classifying the outbreak as a pandemic. As of Monday, the WHO reported that there are 167,511 infected individuals worldwide, including 86,434 outside China. 6,606 individuals have died from the disease, including 3,388 outside China.

As of Monday, the WHO reported that Japan has 814 cases of COVID-19 with 24 deaths. These numbers do not include the number of cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama. That cruise ship had 712 infected passengers with seven deaths.

Update: Cinemark announced on Tuesday that it will close all theaters in the U.S. as of Wednesday. Source: Deadline (Patrick Hipes)

Sources: A-Kon, The [email protected] franchise's website, IndieWire (Chris Lindahl), Deadline (Anthony D'Alessandro; link 2, Tom Grater)

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