After previously canceling its 2013-2014 season, Atlanta icon Theater of the Stars (TOTS) announced that it will be closing for good.
The theater had been in Atlanta for more than 60 years and boasted that it brought the best of Broadway to Atlanta and delighted hundreds of thousands of adults and children alike.
The theater officially announced its closing via a statement today.
“The troubled economy has resulted in underperforming seasons for the past several years, creating financial obstacles too difficult to overcome,” said the statement. “Action steps are in the works to liquidate and wind down the organization. Subscriber’s refunds will be an important part of the closing process as the company pays off debts as quickly and efficiently as it is able.”
The theater had reportedly been operating with a $650,000 debt as of late June and had appealed to Atlanta theatergoers for $1 million by Aug. 30 in order to launch its five-play subscription season plus a special presentation of “Stomp.”
“We’ve had a great run,” said Theater of the Stars Vice President, Brian D. Frey in the statement. “We could not be more grateful to our many patrons and supporters who have been a part of our family over the years. We hate to say ‘goodbye.’ It was a very difficult decision for all involved.”
The company set a deadline to raise $500,000 by July 12 and another half-million by Aug. 30 and had a commitment from Roger Bobb, a television and film producer and protégée of Tyler Perry’s, which was said to be substantial if they could raise enough cash. Unfortunately, the theater was only able to bring in $100,000 and said it would be forced to close operations.
TOTS had been facing intense competition from Broadway in Atlanta, a member of the 28-market network of the national powerhouse presenter and producer Broadway Across America.
Theater of the Stars was led by Christopher B. Manos, who helped found the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, Just Us Theatre (the first African American theatre company in Atlanta), and was a major driving force behind the creation of The Atlanta Ballet, The Atlanta Opera and The Woodruff Arts Center. Theater of the Stars launched many professional careers and has provided countless opportunities for young people to perform on the stage of the Fox Theatre.
In the statement, the theater noted that the Fox Theatre is not affiliated with Theater of the Stars and would be unable to provide any information to subscribers as it relates to their season tickets. The previously announced production of “Stomp” will now be presented by The Fox, from Sept. 25-29, and all purchased tickets will be honored.
TOTS also said that all subscribers have been mailed a letter outlining refund options and details.