June 29, 2010

After $4.5 million renovation, Bethesda Theatre is broke

A debt-ridden, historic theater in Bethesda, Maryland, is going on the auction block. Supporters of the Bethesda Theatre hope the landmark will soon see another opening of another show. The Bethesda Theatre you see today looks an awful lot like the one you would have seen back in 1938, when it opened as a movie house. But a mere three years after a multi-million-dollar renovation restored the Bethesda to its art-deco glory, the theater which has been home to musicals, plays and other shows, is in default, for more than $4.5 million. So it's being sold to the highest bidder.

A nonprofit group called Save The Bethesda Theatre isn't worried about the landmark transforming into a department store or parking lot since Montgomery County requires the real estate be used as a cultural arts center. But supporters do fear the theater going dark and staying that way, since they don't yet know of any potential buyers. Still, they're hoping someone will step up today who agrees that for one historic theater in Bethesda, Maryland the show must go on. SOURCE: WAMU

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