ARTS ENTER CAPE CHARLES – ADVISORY – THE HISTORIC PALACE THEATRE
Over the past year, the Board of Directors of Arts Enter Cape Charles has been approached by several individuals interested in either purchasing or leasing the Historic Palace Theatre to expand its use as an entertainment and community arts venue.
One proposal being considered would install new digital projection and sound equipment in the Palace Theatre to offer first-run movies. If such a plan were to move forward, Arts Enter would continue to use the facility for its dance and theatre arts classes, summer theatre camps, music lessons, plays, and various other performing and visual arts events.
“We are committed to maintaining the Palace Theater as a cultural hub for our community,” said Arts Enter Board Chairman Henry “Hank” Mayer. “To strengthen our mission as a catalyst for those programs, we’re exploring various proposals that would more fully utilize the Palace complex.”
Mayer said that running the 75-year-old facility is expensive. Although the building is in good condition overall, the Palace complex will need some expensive structural upgrades in the near future.
“Ideally, we like to find partners to share in the increasing costs of operating and maintaining this beautiful facility,” Mayer said.
The Arts Enter is a non-profit organization that owns and operates the Palace Theater complex, which includes the theater, stage, dressing rooms, storage buildings, a dance studio and a small storefront used for arts classes. Arts Enter has an executive director, Sue Anglim, who runs day-to-day operations and reports to Mayer and the Board. Arts Enter’s mission is to offer arts-oriented classes for all age groups, stage quality performances at affordable prices, and strengthen its outreach into the community.
“We believe that to enhance our mission and to preserve the Palace as an arts venue, requires an infusion of new capital and income streams,” Mayer said.
The Arts Enter Board will spend the next three to six months studying proposals from potential partners or investors and considering other income-producing possibilities, Mayer said.
“We’re not rushing into anything,” Mayer said. “We’re being very methodical and will carefully analyze all proposals that seem fair, feasible and make sense for our mission, the Palace and the community. Meanwhile, we will be running existing programs as scheduled and adding new ones. We have a lot of exciting events already scheduled for 2017.”