Watertown Theater Groups Scrambling For New Spaces

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Watertown's Lyric Theatre and Little Theatre have spent the last three years at the Black River Valley Club.

They both received notice they have to clear out their costumes, props and actors as of September 1.

"We were kind of blindsighted, to be honest," said Susie Curtis of Little Theatre of Watertown 

The private Black River Valley Club plans to sell the century-old building, consolidate on the first floor and rent out apartments on the top two floors. 

"It was a place where we could build our sets and store things and do performances as well," said Curtis.

"The public was used to getting a very nice meal every time they came to either one of our shows or one of the Watertown Little Theatre shows and that's what we're going to miss the most," said Kevin Kitto of Lyric Theatre of Watertown.

Ideally, the theater groups want a climate-controlled place to house costumes and props, build sets, rehearse and perform possibly dinner-theater. 

They wouldn't mind sharing a space.

"As long as we can schedule our shows at different times from each other, that would be a viable solution and reduce the costs for both organizations," said Kitto.

The Masonic Temple, Savory Downtown, churches and the State Office building are all possibilities. 

Neither theater group wants a break in the action.

Little Theatre has been going 83 years; Lyric for 55 years. 

The fall season for Little Theatre is already blown out, although a February show is booked for the Savory. 

And, Lyric scrapped two smaller productions in favor of The Wizard of Oz next month:

"As in 'The Wizard of Oz,' Dorothy says, 'There's no place like home,' and we don't have a home right now, so we're at home for the time being at the State Office Building," said Kitto.

With the deal for the Black River Valley Club all but done, the two groups plan to talk with each other soon about their futures.

Saturday, October 25, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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