By KRYSTLE CHOW
Published in the Ottawa Business Journal newspaper and website.
May 2, 2011 (May 3 on OBJ.ca)
Click here to view this article on OBJ.ca.
Theatre to stay for-profit; owners hope to produce shows again eventually
The Gladstone is one of the few for-profit theatres in the country.
Photo by PETER KOVESSY for the
Ottawa Business Journal.
Not only is “Rent” the title of a hit Broadway musical, but appropriately, it may also be what keeps The Gladstone theatre in business.
Half a year after putting the quaint property at 910 Gladstone Ave. up for sale with a $1.5-million asking price, owners Steve Martin and Marilisa Granzotto are contemplating the possibility of taking the building off the market due to the success they’ve had with renting out the space.
“We’re probably not going to renew with the realtor,” says Ms. Granzotto, noting the arrangement expires in roughly 60 days. “Or we’ll renew one more time and let the fall season that’s being developed right now be completed. Any pending sale will be conditional on that and happen after the fall season.”
Ms. Granzotto says she and Mr. Martin are putting the finishing touches on agreements with local theatre groups such as Plosive Productions and SevenThirty Productions that want to use the Gladstone to produce their work for an entire season, bringing in a steady stream of income for the two owners.
The pair has also taken rentals from church groups, musical acts, schools, comedians and bands in search of rehearsal space – all of which is helping them gradually pay down their debts.
“We’ve stopped the bleeding,” Ms. Granzotto says. “We’re not incurring greater debt; we have past debt but it’s not increasing.”
As one of the few for-profit theatres in the country, the Gladstone faced an uphill battle in its struggle to balance production and operational costs with ticket prices and sales, and the limits of the building’s capacity. Unlike groups and venues such as Arts Court, the Shenkman Arts Centre, and the Great Canadian Theatre Co. – which itself occupied 910 Gladstone Ave. for 25 years – the Gladstone took no Continue reading →