Iconic Fresno theater forced to stay closed ahead of the holidays

To stay afloat, Roger Rocka's Dinner Theater is promoting gift certificates this holiday season for future shows.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The lights are on, but there's no action at the iconic Roger Rocka's Dinner Theater.

As Fresno County returns to the most restrictive tier, the theater's plans to bring back live entertainment stayed behind the curtain.

Roger Rockas General Manager Denise Graziani says they were looking forward to doing what they do best - entertaining and serving.

But things changed quickly.

They cut their staff from 40 to just three employees.

"Having an institution not be able to perform and not be able to work, it's difficult. We've created a family here in the last 40 years that it's difficult to lose," he says.

Graziani says while the seats are empty, safety is still their priority.

"We really want to protect our guest and employees. And at this point, we just don't feel that it's a good idea to bring anybody back. The main thing we are trying to do is be ready if they say, 'set and go'."

Dan Pessano is the managing director of the good company players
He says the show will go on eventually, so they're promoting gift certificates this holiday season for future shows.

"We're just waiting for them to tell us that we can do it. We are capable. We are 47 seasons old, we've done it on our own and we maybe need a little more help right now," Pessano says.

To stay afloat, they've had concerts online and continued classes.

Garziani also says they're thinking of selling family meals curbside for extra income.

And despite entering the 'purple tier', the renowned theater is maintaining hope.
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