LONDON — The entertainment industry in London staggered through the day with the rest of the business communities throughout the world, trying to take care of daily tasks but clearly reeling from the dimensions of the devastation of Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in the United States.
On the traditional business front, the London Stock Exchange, the Lloyds Building, Canary Wharf and the NatWest Tower in London were evacuated following the attacks, which registered in London just after lunchtime.
Many U.S. and British firms in the City sent their workers home early, which was just as well since the FTSE took the biggest drop in 15 years, plummeting almost 300 points.
By evening, though the West End legit houses and cinemas were open for business, the streets of London from Soho to Chelsea to Hampstead were eerily quiet.
The post-production community centered in Soho continued its deadline-intensive work on projects from around the world.
There were only anecdotal signs of the catastrophe abroad hitting London.
There were reports of top British film execs en route to the U.S. whose planes were diverted. There was no word on where they had landed or when they would either return or reach their business destinations in New York and Hollywood.
A long-planned private reception at the Royal Opera House for the Olswang law firm was canceled, a representative said “out of respect for the victims of this tragedy.”
The street-level human response was moving.
The Evening Standard news agent across from Daily Variety headquarters, knowing his customer was American, refused to take payment for the evening’s paper bearing the grim news.
“I can’t take money for something so horrible,” he said. “I’m sorry….”