Glove Theatre officials, making what could be a final effort to save the institution, announced a $200,000 capital campaign today called "The Glove Theatre -- Save Our Stage."
The acronym for the campaign is SOS, the international distress call.
Glove Theatre President Mark Finkle said the goal can be achieved if 2,000 people from the region step forward and contribute $100 each.
"We need to know if the people of this region want the Glove Theatre to remain open, and if they are willing to fight with us to make sure it happens ... together the burden will be small. Together the goal is achievable. Without you the theater will close," Finkle said in the campaign announcement.
If the money can be raised, Finkle said The Glove will "be developed into a multi-purpose, multi-discipline venue ... all types of performances and uses will be incorporated into The Glove schedule including movies, lectures, readings, trade shows, concerts, dance recitals, graduations, receptions, dinners and parties." There may be uses officials have yet to dream of, he said.
Finkle disclosed the theater is "virtually out of money," and what little funds are left are being used to heat and maintain the building in preparation for a possible reopening.
Since the theatre reopened 12 years ago it has never made a profit, Finkle said. With some staff in place, he said, it takes about $500,000 a year to operate it. Just to maintain the interior temperature at 40 degrees in winter requires 500 gallons of heating oil every three weeks, he said.
"For the last several years,"Finkle said, "the board was left with an insurmountable debt, frustrated vendors and a disillusioned community."