Cleveland Metroparks and Huntington Playhouse announce the closing of the Huntington Playhouse on December 31, 2015.
“There are a variety of reasons they will be closing at this time. I am not going to comment on the reasons at this time because I don’t have the information to provide to you at this time,” said Sanaa Julien, Cleveland Metroparks Chief Marketing Officer, in a call from The Villager. “Today’s announcement is about the fact that it is closing at this point in time. I am not able to discuss the reasons.”
Julien indicated that more information about the closing may be forwarded in a future press release.
Brian Zimmerman, Cleveland Metroparks Chief Executive Officer adds, “Cleveland Metroparks thanks the Huntington Playhouse for the longstanding and successful partnership our organizations have shared.” After 57 seasons, Huntington Playhouse and Cleveland Metroparks are thankful for the community’s generous support.
Huntington Playhouse’s final season will be completed as planned, including the fall children’s theatre program in September. The remaining productions include, My Way a Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra, Death by Design, The Addams Family, and a holiday show.
Cleveland Metroparks Huntington Reservation features a number of affiliate organizations, including BayArts and the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center. Both organizations serve local residents with educational and creative programs. For more information and a map of Huntington Reservation, please visit http://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/Main/Reservations-Partners/Huntington-Reservation-9.aspx.
UPDATE: Cleveland Metroparks has disclosed that Huntington Playhouse has faced financial and maintenance obstacles over the past few years that have led to its closing.
“We have been working with this very long-time affiliate for many months and years to try and correct a couple of issues that have occurred,” says Sanaa Julien, Cleveland Metroparks Chief Marketing Officer. “There has been the non-payment of utilities, which they are responsible for. There was a lapse in insurance. They have had licensing issues on the performances (with regards to the licensing of the actual plays themselves) where they had not receive the proper licenses for the actual performances and other issues that are very similar. After many attempts to rectify the situations and with decreasing attendance it was necessary for us to agree with Huntington Playhouse that this would be the final season. We are not trying to negatively portray the image of the Huntington Playhouse, but these are issues that affect the safety of the building and the people who go there.”
Julien said there are no firm plans for the building at this point. “We are looking at numerous options. We have not made any decisions. We do not have any finalized or formalized plans in front of us as we look at what might be best for the community.”