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With Movie Theaters Closed, Marquees Go Viral

As businesses across the country remain shuttered, movie theater marquees offer jokes and advice to those wandering by.

“You’re still here? It’s over. Go home. Go.”

The final words of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986) loom over the empty streets of Minneapolis. A quote from “Back to the Future” (1985) reminds Vancouver, Wash., that leaving the house could cause serious repercussions.

A marquee in Lake Oswego, Ore., encourages the community to stream a film that the theater never had a chance to show.

In mid-March, as Broadway went dark and “nonessential” businesses began to close their doors, the gravity and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States grew. When movie theaters closed and owners buckled down for an indefinite hiatus, some chose to leave their own messages on the way out.

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