« Previous | Culture Monster Home | Next »

Pasadena Playhouse lists $102,000 in cash, $2.3 million in debts

May 11, 2010 |  9:44 pm

PasadenaPhseCamelotPaltera The Pasadena Playhouse's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing shows that it owes $2.3 million, most of it to subscribers, bankers and vendors, but has just $102,000 in cash and savings.

Playhouse officials weren't commenting Tuesday, after the filing Monday night in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles. But executive director Stephen Eich said theater leaders plan to share their "concept" for righting the ship soon. The playhouse has been closed since Feb. 7.

On first glance, it looks as if the Playhouse's problems reflect a truism among nonprofit organizations: that it's much easier to raise money for buildings than for ordinary operating expenses.

The evidence: Of the $7 million in total assets that the Playhouse lists, $5.9 million is pledges to an expansion campaign that was announced in 2007; an additional $840,000 is the value of capital improvements already done or in progress on the theater's current leased facilities.

The expansion campaign envisioned a 300- to 400-seat theater, designed pro bono by Frank Gehry, to go with the 1925-vintage, 684-seat main stage and the 86-seat Carrie Hamilton Theatre. A bundle of promised money was forthcoming for what Gehry might create, but what was lacking, literally, was money to keep the lights on.

How well the company's attempt at a fresh start turns out will probably depend first on donors' enthusiasm for the less glamorous business of making sure that ordinary bills get paid -- and then on audiences' appetite for the shows those hypothetical backers bankroll.

For the full story, click here.

-- Mike Boehm 


Pasadena Playhouse will close Feb. 7

Pasadena Playhouse begins hosting performing arts events, but recovery still uncertain

Sheldon Epps: Play it again

Photo: The audience awaits a performance of "Camelot," the last pre-bankruptcy production at the Pasadena Playhouse. Credit: Stefano Paltera / For The Times.

Comments () | Archives (1)

If the playhouse is able to regroup from this reopen, I just don't see how they can realistically offer season tickets again. Especially if they are unable to reimburse people adequately.

Season tickets holders are already getting hard to find across the country but, things like this will make people even more skittish.

Season brochures will have to come with disclaimers in small print:

All shows and times are subject to change.
Without notice theatre may close up overnight.


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Explore the arts: See our interactive venue graphics


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.