After canceling many shows over the past two months, the operators of the Loring Theater are pulling out of the historic downtown arts venue altogether. The Directors LLP, which took over the former Music Box Theater in early 2010 and put the original name back on the marquee, has announced that it is not renewing its lease for 2012. Thus, the theater has gone dark and likely will not host any events in the coming months.
“I believe the business model and the great people we had in place would have made this a very feasible operation under normal circumstances,” said Directors artistic director Steve Barberio, whose formula brought in an eclectic mix of music, comedy and film. The abnormal part of the plan, he added, was the down economy that has many other arts venues struggling to fill seats.
However, Barberio sounded optimistic that the Loring marquee could light up again later next year. The owner of the building has reportedly talked to other groups interested in taking over. He believes “the right set of entrepreneurs” could be found. “It needs more capital than my partners and I have to put into it,” Barberio said, citing the high cost of simply running such a historic venue, which dates to the 1920s.
This is the second management group to come and go at the Loring Theater space since its original anchoring tenant, the Triple Espresso stage show, left in 2008. The Directors LLP sent out a letter, which is posted on the theater's site, boasting that 15,000 people have gone through the doors over the past two years.
"We are proud of our work, honored to have been stewards of the space, and grateful to all who contributed their time, talent and money to this amazing venture," the farewell message reads.