Philadelphia's Prince Music Theatre Will Shutter

News   Philadelphia's Prince Music Theatre Will Shutter
The organization that occupies the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia, PA, has terminated its lease with the owners of the building, according to

Following the death of board chairman Herb Lotman, the Prince was seeking another organization to take over and continue the building's use as a theatre. Having received no offers — only three expressions of interest that never came to fruition — the organization has decided to close its doors.

Performances are slated in the theatre through Nov. 30.

American Music Theater Festival, founded in 1984, also intends to dissolve, and the future of the building is uncertain.

"We gave it five or six months after Herb's death, but at some point you have to say, if nobody is willing to step in, we can't do it any longer," said Stan Fronczkowski, a longtime colleague of Lotman's who is working with his widow, Karen, and son, Jeff, on the matter. "What we were looking for was someone to step up not only operationally but also financially. The board does not want to continue in a leadership role anymore."

The Curtis Institute of Music, which has mounted opera productions beginning in 1999, must find a stage for its May production. The Prince's previous season featured a total of 200 performances as well as rentals to outside groups. An average of 70 percent of seats were sold of the Prince-presented shows.

In its previous form, under co-founder Marjorie Samoff, the Prince closed its final production, It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, on Christmas Eve 2008. TD Bank foreclosed on the mortgage, and after a series of legal moves, the Prince filed for bankruptcy in October 2010.

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