Devon Theater in NE Philly abruptly cancels season
Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
The historic Devon Theater in Northeast Philadelphia was hoping this year would mark its rebirth, but it's production season has been canceled after just two musicals.
The theater in the Mayfair section of the city had been abandoned for years before undergoing an extensive renovation.
With its in-house production company, the Devon planned to run five theatrical shows this season. Those productions were dependent on state arts funding, which was severely cut from the state budget.
The director of the Mayfair Community Development Corporation, Brian King, says the CDC had spent millions renovating the theater and surrounding streetscape to make the Devon the centerpiece of the neighborhood's economic revitalization.
King: As the new kid of on the block you want to be noticed. These productions were top of the line – they got great reviews, gotten a lot of press. In a city that has a lot of great arts&culture, it's important to be noticed. We tried to do that – but unfortunately the funding cut has changed that.
King says the theater is not going dark – film screenings, art exhibitions, and traveling theater will still be held there.