Struggling Theatre West Virginia closes - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Struggling Theatre West Virginia closes

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Greenbrier Resort celebrates 100th anniversary of Old White TPC

    Greenbrier Resort celebrates 100th anniversary of Old White TPC

    Greenbrier Resort celebrates 100th anniversary of Old White TPC

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:45 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:45:07 GMT
    America's resort is celebrating an important birthday.The Greenbrier Resort's famous golf course, the Old White TPC turned 100 years old today.To commemorate the event Jim Justice, Owner of The Greenbrier, and Jeff Kmiec, the resort's President along with several other representatives of the resort gathered Saturday to remember the course's long history.Guests were in attendance to watch as Justice hit the ceremonial first ball from the first tee.Even recent Masters winner Bubba Watson made a...
    America's resort is celebrating an important birthday.The Greenbrier Resort's famous golf course, the Old White TPC turned 100 years old today.To commemorate the event Jim Justice, Owner of The Greenbrier, and Jeff Kmiec, the resort's President along with several other representatives of the resort gathered Saturday to remember the course's long history.Guests were in attendance to watch as Justice hit the ceremonial first ball from the first tee.Even recent Masters winner Bubba Watson made a...
  • One man shot early Saturday morning in Beckley

    One man shot early Saturday morning in Beckley

    One man shot early Saturday morning in Beckley

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:39 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:39:31 GMT
    911 Dispatchers said a man was shot in the leg early Saturday morning on Harper Road in Beckley outside of the Holiday Inn.
    911 Dispatchers said a man was shot in the leg early Saturday morning on Harper Road in Beckley outside of the Holiday Inn.
  • After chemical Spill, officials give $1.2 Million to WV tourism

    After chemical Spill, officials give $1.2 Million to WV tourism

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:35 PM EDT2014-04-19 00:35:20 GMT
    There's a new push to help West Virginia's tourism industry after the chemical spill that caused a major water crisis in January. On Thursday, the state announced a $1.2 million cash contribution that
    There's a new push to help West Virginia's tourism industry after the chemical spill that caused a major water crisis in January.

BECKLEY, WV (AP) — Financial troubles have forced Theatre West Virginia to cease operations.

General Manager Gayle Bowling tells The Register-Herald that funding reductions and wet weather that reduced attendance led to the decision. The outdoor theater company had been in operation for more than a half century but had financial struggles for several years.

"We are all heartbroken and devastated personally and professionally," Bowling said.

Bowling says employees have been laid off and the theater's assets will be liquidated. Bowling said "barring some miracle," she didn't see an alternative option to keep the theater open.

Bowling will continue to work on a volunteer basis to finish the theater's closing.

"Theatre West Virginia has been a huge part of my life for 23 years, and my hope is that, at some point in the future, it can be resurrected in a different way," she said.

Bowling said the theater found out last week it wouldn't receive $20,000 in state funding to support a touring company whose shows were set to start on Oct. 1

Doug Maddy, president and CEO of Visit Southern West Virginia, said the decision left him speechless.

"I know they've had financial difficulty, but I've worked with them and I had no inkling they were going to close," he said.

Theatre West Virginia was founded in 1955. Among its founders was former Gov. Hulett Smith.

Maddy said the theater was one of southern West Virginia's premier attractions.

"This really is bad news for all of us," he said. "There's no good spin to put on it. The theater is 50 years old. It's a big part of our heritage and our culture."

Delegate Linda Sumner, R-Raleigh, said the state's history was told through the theater's summer productions. She said there was no better place to take out-of-state visitors for a picnic and an outdoor theater experience.

"It also gave people a chance to start their acting career with lessons and the travel team," she said.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.