Dear Stage Coach Theatre members, directors, actors, crew, patrons, supporters and friends
Big news for the coming year. Stage Coach Theatre (SCT) is moving to a more permanent location. A little history will help explain why.
SCT has been in its current location for 14 years on a deeply discounted month to month lease. Even discounted, rent is the theater’s biggest monthly expense.The month to month lease means we have been at our current location literally at the landlord’s pleasure. If the landlord found a client willing to pay more than our much reduced rent it could kick us out with 30 days notice. We have been lucky for 14 years as the Hillcrest Shopping center struggled to fill its space. Recently, the shopping center was sold and new management became very aggressive in marketing its space. Over the last 4-5 months there have been a few groups through our space looking it over. However, ours is the least desirable space in the shopping center and given the economy the Board and officers of SCT hoped that we would be able to continue in our space for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, we began months ago looking for a more permanent location, figuring that we had a couple of seasons at least to find something that worked.
Unfortunately, the Sword of Damocles has fallen and the new owners leased our space to a new tenant and have given us until mid-January to vacate. The new tenant is NW Animal Companions and they have leased the entire west end for a total of 23,000 square feet, including the church space across the breezeway.
The good news is that our Board and officers are fully committed to both continuing our 30th season and finding a new and more permanent location. No one has even considered canceling the rest of the season let alone closing this 30 year old, venerated and unique theater organization. We are in the process as I draft this of looking for a temporary location in which to put on as many shows as necessary before we are able to move into our permanent location. We are looking at other temporary space in the Hillcrest shopping center, at churches, schools and other venues. If you know of a potential temporary location please let us know.
In terms of long term digs, we are looking at the old Plaza Twin Theater space. Old timers will remember those theaters located a little west of Albertson’s. The lobby has been converted to space for other businesses but the theaters have been vacant for many years. The seats are still there along with the movie projector booth and sound deadening material on the walls and ceilings. We will be looking at other space as well.
While at first blush (and maybe second and third blush) this may all feel a little disheartening, the Board and officers look at this as an opportunity to ensure the long-term prospects of our beloved theater. We will be counting on all of you for your good wishes as we move forward and we hope we can count on all of you to help us complete this season and ensure another 30 years of live theater. Thank you.