CK Taking Over The Capitol Theatre

Chatham-Kent's Capitol Theatre, November 13, 2015 (Photo by Jake Kislinsky)

Operation of the Capitol Theatre is no longer up in the air, as the municipality will assume in-house operations on a permanent basis.

In addition, the municipality has approved a total annual budget of $543,886.

The decision was reached during Monday night’s council meeting, after hearing from Aileen Murray of Mellor Murray Consulting and other staff.

Aileen Murray giving presentation on the Captiol Theatre during Monday night's council meeting. December 12, 2016. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

Aileen Murray giving a presentation on the Captiol Theatre. December 12, 2016. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

Besides the internal municipal bid for the theatre, there had been two other bids from Jones Entertainment Group and Studio Black. However, Murray stated that the price envelopes for those two bids were not opened because they didn’t meet the minimum requirements.

As a result, the internal bid was the recommended option.

After the presentation there was some back and forth from council members, as some were in favor of approving all recommendations, while others were hesitant.

Councillor Doug Sulman referred to the issue as a “hot potato,” saying it seems as though “the hot potato is being thrown back at us.”

Councillor Brock McGregor has a different take on the issue. He says the municipality taking over operations is a positive step moving forward.

“Based on the report [and] based on the recommendations it was really the only choice going forward,” says McGregor. “I think it’s important that we view this as an opportunity to keep the Capitol Theatre as really a corner stone, and something that’s really important in our cultural community – and really important to downtown Chatham.”

Since St. Clair College announced their plans to step away from the Theatre in 2015, the theatre had been a topic of uncertainty.

“I think that it’s important that we were diligent in the decision,” says McGregor. “In a decision that’s this large, that’s going to have this much impact moving forward, you really have to take your time.”

Going forward the theatre will proceed with its usual tasks during the integration period. The municipality will proceed with the internal bid, while the theatre will work on hiring and training two full-time employees.

Blackburn News has reached out to Capitol Theatre management for a comment, but has not received a response.