A Louisiana Parish Used 'The Purge' Sirens to Start Coronavirus Curfew

It didn’t go over well with residents

Do NOT try this at home kids. Citizens of a Louisiana parish got a very unnerving surprise last week after the parish enacted a curfew to slow the spread of coronavirus, and local police announced the start of it using sirens identical to the ones in Universal’s “The Purge” franchise.

The error in judgement was captured on video by a resident of Crowley, Louisiana, in Arcadia Parish on April 2 and subsequently posted to YouTube by ABC affiliate KATC. In the clip, the unmistakable sound of the franchise’s key sound effect can clearly be heard in the distance. See for yourself at the top of the page.

According to KATC, Crowley police had informed citizens in a Facebook post that they would be using a siren to announce the start of the 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew, and that it would be “different” from normal sirens. Mission accomplished! Alas, locals weren’t amused, and hundreds complained about it on the Crowley Police Facebook page.

The Facebook post has since been deleted and, according to KATC, Crowley PD has stopped using sirens of any kind to announce the start of the curfew. The city’s chief of police also told the outlet he had no idea the siren they used was from “The Purge.”

Even Arcadia Parish Sheriff KP Gibson has distanced himself from the mishap, saying in a post to Facebook that his office was “not involved in the use of the ‘Purge Siren’ and will not utilize any type of siren for this purpose.” Gibson also suggested that residents concerned about the sirens should contact Crowley PD.

The film and TV franchise take place in the near future, after the United States has been taken over by an extreme right wing group called The New Founding Fathers of America. The NFFA have instituted a once-a-year event, “The Purge,” a 12-hour period during which all crimes including murder are legal, and citizens are encouraged to kill each other; the iconic sirens are used to announce the start and the end of a Purge. (Spoiler: The whole thing exists in order to A) make it easy to kill dissidents, B) make the citizenry distrust one another, and C) reduce unemployment by reducing the, uh, number of unemployed people.)

The important thing from our point of view? “The Purge” franchise is uniformly excellent, fun and thought provoking; reminding people of it in real life not so much.

All the Broadway Shows Killed (and Postponed) Due to Coronavirus Shutdown

  • When New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed Broadway theaters on March 12 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the New York theater scene was heating up ahead of the Tony Awards — with 31 shows playing and another eight scheduled to begin performances by mid-April. But the uncertainty of when theaters (and Broadway-bound tourists) might return has forced some producers to close shows early — or push new productions to sometime in the future.

  • Closed: “Hangmen” 

    Martin McDonagh’s new comedy, starring Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”) and Mark Addy (“Game of Thrones”), announced March 20 it would not reopen after playing 13 preview performances ahead of an expected March 19 official opening.

  • Closed: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” 

    The revival of Edward Albee’s classic drama, starring Laurie Metcalf and Rupert Everett, had played just nine preview performances before Broadway went dark. With the scheduled April 9 official opening off the table, producers decided to close the show on March 21.

  • Postponed: “Flying Over Sunset”

    The new musical by composer Tom Kitt (“Next to Normal,” pictured), lyricist Michael Korie (“Grey Gardens”) and book writer James Lapine (“Into the Woods”) was scheduled to begin performances on March 12 ahead of an official April 16 opening. On March 24 the Lincoln Center Theater announced the show’s opening would be pushed to the fall.

  • Postponed: “Birthday Candles” 

    Noah Haidle’s play, starring Debra Messing and Andre Braugher, was due to begin performances in early April. But on March 25, Roundabout Theatre Company announced it would open this fall instead.

  • Postponed: “Caroline, or Change” 

    Roundabout also delayed the opening of its revival of the Jeanine Tesori-Tony Kushner musical “Caroline, or Change,” starring Sharon D. Clarke in an Olivier Award-winning performance. The show had been set for an April 7 opening at Studio 54.

  • Postponed: “How I Learned to Drive” 

    Manhattan Theatre Club announced on April 7 it was postponing a Mary-Louise Parker-led revival of “How I Learned to Drive” to the 2020-21 season. The Pulitzer-winning drama, with David Morse as co-star, was due to open April 22, just before the cutoff for this year’s Tony Awards.

  • Postponed: The Tony Awards  

    Since there’s no word yet on when Broadway performances might resume, the Broadway League on March 25 indefinitely postponed this year’s Tony Awards, which had been scheduled for June 7 at Radio City Music Hall.

“How I Learned to Drive” is the latest affected

When New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed Broadway theaters on March 12 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the New York theater scene was heating up ahead of the Tony Awards — with 31 shows playing and another eight scheduled to begin performances by mid-April. But the uncertainty of when theaters (and Broadway-bound tourists) might return has forced some producers to close shows early — or push new productions to sometime in the future.

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