Time is running out and the bulldozers are waiting, which means Gig Harbor’s Paradise Theatre needs to find a new home.
The theater will need to move by Dec. 31. The land has been sold and there are plans for additions to the Cushman Trail and a new housing area in the land off of Burnham Drive where the theater sits.
“Needless to say, but it’s inconvenient,” said Troy Turnley, board president at the theater.
A capital campaign has kicked into high gear. Turnley said it was helpful the developer gave the theater until the end of the year to find a home, allowing for the campaign to pick up steam.
Turnley has been involved with the theater for six years. In addition to performing, he also coordinates the popular Haunted House at Halloween and the fireworks stand for the Fourth of July.
The theater has had to move before, Turnley said. About eight years ago it moved from Peacock Hill to the location at 9911 Burnham Drive NW.
The theater was notified of the move about five months ago, said Jeff Richards, managing director of Paradise. Since then, the board, actors and staff have been trying to get the word out.
“We were surprised. It blindsided us,” said Turnley.
The dream is a permanent space to call their own, and the goal is $1.2 million in capital funds to build a new space. In the meantime, Richards said, a temporary space will do for a couple years while things are worked out.
“That would give us a couple of years in a location,” Richards said.
So far, the capital campaign has been moving slowly, but as a solid plan for a space comes together Turnley thinks it will pick up as “a more stable vision” is put in place.
In a typical season, the theater puts on about seven shows. The 2015-2016 season will kick off in September with “Into the Woods.” The last show before the mandatory move will be “Scrooge, the Musical,” which will close December 12, 2015.
Season tickets are on sale through the end of July; single show tickets begin on Aug. 1.
“Throughout our season, we are providing special events to contribute to the Act Local Capital Campaign to enable us to keep live, Broadway-style theater right here in Gig Harbor,” artistic director Vicki Richards said in the announcement of the season.
“There are also a variety of meaningful and permanent recognition opportunities available for those who would like to help us build our performing arts and education center,” she said.
In addition to performances, the theater puts on summer programs, a haunted house and various classes. The hope of the staff and board is a space that will be permanent and accommodate all those activities.
To donate to Paradise Theatre’s capital campaign, visitparadisetheatre.org or call 253-851-7529. Tickets to shows are also available online or by phone.