Heritage Square Music Hall Says Farewell
Final Curtain Call for Local Theater
by guest blogger Clarissa Cutrill
Golden theater fans have long been spoiled with two professional theaters located right in their own hometown — Miner’s Alley Playhouse and Heritage Square Music Hall & Dinner Theater. As of 2014, however, that number will be down to one.
For 25 years, the Heritage Square Music Hall & Dinner Theater has been delighting audiences with comedy, melodrama, musical entertainment, and family-friendly fun that harkens back to a bygone era. On New Year’s Eve, the theater company will take a final bow as the curtain closes for the last time.
The decision to close the doors did not come easy. According to Tom Mullin, face of the theater company on-stage and co-owner of the company with Connie Helsley off-stage, it’s a purely economic one.
“We’ve been having difficulty the last several years,” said Mullin, “People don’t go out as much as they used to. Discretionary income isn’t what it used to be, and one of the first things families cut back on is entertainment.”
In its hey-day, the theater would draw up to 40,000 people a year. But over the last three years, crowds have dropped off by as much as 40 percent.
“After a while, you get the spiral effect,” said the veteran actor. “The fewer people come to performances, the less money is available to market shows.”
The Heritage Square Music Hall has inhabited the Victorian theater it currently calls home most of the theater’s forty year history. Built in 1973, the vintage theater was first home to the Heritage Square Opera House before reopening on June 1, 1988 as the Heritage Square Music Hall and Dinner Theater. Over the years, thousands have been entertained by song, dance, and interactive theater on that stage.
But the show’s not over yet; there are still plenty of opportunities to catch a few more performances. The Villain of Guy Gulch, The Baseball Show, 50 Shades of Loud, and Sweeney Todd are all either playing now, or coming soon, and the Children’s Theater is staging performances of The Emperor’s New Clothes every Saturday through August.
The season will end with, appropriately enough, Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night. Check the Heritage Square Music Hall website for times, dates, and ticket information.