[The Wealthy Theatre was seen on THS’s 2011 Conclave/Theatre Tour; story via THS Director Dennis Wilhelm of Miami Beach, Florida]
GRAND RAPIDS — In 2004, the drowning Wealthy Theatre was thrown a life preserver.
After dodging the wrecking ball and reopening as a performance venue in 1999, the historic theater began sinking into debt and briefly closed before the Community Media Center acquired the old neighborhood vaudeville and movie house built in 1911.
Under the media center’s umbrella, the venue has clawed its way toward self-sufficiency, theatre director Erin Wilson said. It is wrapping up a centennial capital campaign this year that has focused on ensuring the sustainability of the venue.
“We’re knocking on the door of being in the black,” Wilson said.
The success of the Wealthy, built to serve the early 20th-century bedroom community along Wealthy Street, could provide a blueprint for another neighborhood theater across town.
PLACE OF THE WEEK: TALE OF TWO URBAN THEATERS
Double feature …
For the FULL STORY including the history of the Wealthy as well as the nearby 4 Star Theatre, visit the source at http://mobile.mlive.com/advgrapids/db_/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=c1F34i3O&full=true#display