The 18-year-old Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre in Jupiter, FL, went dark over the Memorial Day weekend after its operator fell behind in mortgage and tax payments.
The theatre owners have until June 4 to raise $1.3 million or the 440-seat playhouse will be sold and possibly razed, according to the Sun-Sentinel in Ft. Lauderdale.
The theatre has managed to attract Broadway-league talent for a subscribership that consisted, in part, of retiree Broadway audiences.
Executive producer Richard Atkins (who leases the theatre from Reynolds) told the newspaper that he had to shut down operations May 24 because Reliance Insurance Company of Philadelphia refused to pay a $350,000 claim resulting from a fire at the theatre in March 1995.
Reynolds ran the theatre until 1989 when he accrued some $4 million in debts. He sold it to Atkins that year, but has falled $142,000 behind in mortgage and tax payments even though it grossed more than $6 million in 1995, the paper reports. Reynolds began foreclosure proceedings the week of May 20, but also offered to sell Atkins the theatre for $2.1 million. A bank reportedly has offered Atkins part of the money, and he's hoping to raise the rest through donations.The theatre was showing the comedy Breaking Legs at the time of the closing.