Enchanted Playhouse, City push back last date for children’s theater company to vacate the building to March 31, 2019
By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
VISALIA – The Enchanted Playhouse Theatre Company will have at least one more encore at the Main Street Theatre.
The children’s theater company announced on Jan. 24 that it signed an agreement with the City of Visalia to continue to occupy the building until March 31, 2019 to allow its current play, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” to be performed at the theater, located at 307 E. Main St. in Visalia.
The Enchanted Playhouse Theatre Company (EPTC) originally agreed to vacate the building by Jan. 31, 2019 as part of an Oct. 9 Stipulated Entry of Judgement that was accepted by the Tulare County Superior Court. As part of that agreement, EPTC agreed to pay $12,500 in back rent and $2,000 per month in rent due by the first of every month.
On Nov. 5, the Visalia City Council authorized the sale of the Main Street Theatre for $515,000 to Legacy Investments following an emotional 10-month long roller coaster for the children’s theater company, the City Council and the community.
JR Shannon, the sole owner of Legacy Investments, wrote in his proposal he had a letter of interest from a “large restaurant tenet” interested in half of the 8,000-square foot property for “a new conceptual restaurant that we currently don’t have in Visalia.” He said the restaurant expects to hire 50-75 new employees, with the possibility of more for a catering arm of the business, and project $1.5 to $2.5 million in annual taxable sales. He stated that this tenant had already agreed to work with Enchanted Playhouse to host fundraising events for the theater company. In keeping with the RFP issued by the city, Shannon stated that the building’s front façade and Main Street Theater signage would remain and even be repaired. He also expressed interest in keeping the ticket sales window of the theater for some sort of use by the tenant.
“Should escrow on the [theater] property close before this March 31, J.R. Shannon and The Enchanted Playhouse have entered into an agreement of the same terms,” EPTC said in a released statement. “We thank J.R. Shannon for this opportunity.”
“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” will be performed at the Main Street Theatre at 7 p.m. on March 1 and 8, 6 p.m. on March 2, and 2 p.m. on March 3 and 10. Tickets can be purchased online at www.enchantedplayhouse.org, at our community partners, Party City, Espi’s kids, or Valhalla restaurant or at the box office half an hour prior to the show. Ticket sales from the play will go toward EPTC finding a new home.
“In regards to the future, we are looking at many different options at continuing Children’s Theatre in downtown Visalia,” EPTC stated. “To this end, we are continuing our fundraising efforts and discussions with different partners.”