Thomaston Opera House: Raising The Curtain!

Posted on January 9, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

The brutal Great Recession, now entering its fourth year, did more than simply impact Connecticut’s economic health. It affected our state’s cultural health as well, damaging the revenue streams and fiscal budgets of many of our theatre companies.

The Thomaston Opera House, for instance, was forced to shutter its nonprofit theatre program in 2010 after many decades of performances. But the community spent 2011 pulling together a new management team, and last week the town approved the return of the thespian community to the great stage!

Most striking, perhaps, was the relatively modest size of the funding package that was required to relaunch the theatre program. Apparently, only $15,000 was required to serve as a backstop funding resource for the $1,250 monthly facility rental cost. The Thomaston Savings Bank provided the funds in the form of a grant.

Other historic theaters are waiting in the wings as well, searching for funds to relaunch operating activities. Derby’s Sterling Opera House requires an estimated $3 million to $4 million to finance renovations, and Stratford legislators have estimated that the town’s Shakespeare Festival Theater may need $2 million to do so.

As compared to the $30 million that Governor Rowland dedicated to the restoration of Waterbury’s Palace Theater in 1999, these comparative price tags would appear to be bargains. After all, if our government leaders were willing to spend $11 million on a public fountain in downtown New London, why not invest far smaller amounts in historic theaters to bring live performances back to the stages of our local towns?

Contributed by Michael Kraten, PhD, CPA, Accounting Professor at Providence College and President of Enterprise Mgt. Corp.


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