Theatre closed for now; Plumas Arts looks to the future
By Debra Moore
The Town Hall Theatre’s marquee optimistically declares “Coming back soon,” but now Roxanne Valladao, the executive of Plumas Arts, isn’t so sure and has debated changing the sign. “I think we’ll leave it for now,” she said this afternoon.
Earlier in the day, she posted a message on the theatre’s Facebook page: “The fact is, we are uncertain as to when we will be allowed to or when it will be safe to reopen. We figured to be closed for April and May, now even summer seems questionable.” The theatre has been closed since March 17.
Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed the reopening of theaters in his remarks today. Cinemas are included in phase three of a reopening plan along with gyms, hair salons and churches. “Phase three and four (large concerts and other events) will come in months, not weeks,” he said.
So Valladao’s concern that the theatre won’t be able to reopen this summer is valid. “Needless to say the theatre closure translates, not only to no access to a much-loved community gathering space, but also a significant loss of income,” Valladao said. “In the last weeks the Town Hall Theatre has ‘lost’ thousands of dollars in ticket sales and venue rental fees, with more to come.”
Plumas Arts relies on the income the theatre generates along with several of its fundraisers including the Taste of Plumas that had to be canceled. “We have canceled all of our events in April and all of May,” she said, and isn’t sure what will happen to other popular events scheduled for later in summer such as the annual art show in Almanor and the popular Blues and Brews festival, also popular fundraisers for Plumas Arts.
With less revenue coming in, Valladao said they weren’t prepared for an $8,000 bill to repair the theatre’s projector — damage that resulted from non-use. Nor was she prepared for the generosity of some patrons who have sent in checks equivalent to what they would have spend if the theatre had remained opened.
Even though the theatre is closed and events canceled, Valladao is focused on providing art for the county and is working on a web page to curate art exhibits, concerts and more. She is also investigating ways to open Plumas Arts Gallery to the public. “We probably won’t be able to have openings, but people could walk through to view the art,” she said.
At some point the theatre will reopen and popular events resume, until then, Valladao encourages community members to watch movies on the small screen and view art wherever they can find it.