Apple plans to close down U.S. retail stores for several hours on Wednesday so employees can take part in a company-wide celebration of co-founder Steve Jobs' life.

Before the celebration, Apple has an internal Steve Jobs memorial ceremony scheduled for Wednesday morning, Oct. 19, which is open only to Apple employees. It will take place at the outdoor amphitheater on the Infinite Loop campusat Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. Store employees will be able to view a live broadcast of the ceremony.

The celebration, which will be held from 10 a.m. PT to 11:30 a.m. PT, follows the memorial service for the late tech visionary at Stanford University attended by Silicon Valley luminaries, politicians and celebrities.

Many stores across California were not accepting online bookings for Wednesday morning, either for tech-support or tutorial appointments. Other stores are most likely doing the same.

Employees across Asia and Australia will be able to view a re-broadcast of the celebration, according to a source.

The temporary closing of Apple retail stores, however, was not announced via an internal memo, according to other sources. Instead, some retail employees were told about the plans over the phone and one employee claims that the event could last up to three hours.

Steve Jobs died on Oct. 5 at the age of 56 after a long battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer. Chief Executive Tim Cook had said in a memo to employees on Oct. 10 that a celebration of his life would be held Wednesday.

Jobs' death also came just a day after the iPhone 4S announcement. He was laid to rest in a small private funeral on Oct. 7. Cook said in his email about the ceremony that it was meant to take time to remember the incredible things Steve achieved in his life and the many ways he made our world a better place.