Grove may be near final act

Theater owner says that she's both discouraged and broke

Deseret News, 1 April 2004

Article Summary:

The Grove Theater has struggled financially since Neil Simon pulled permission to perform the play "Rumors" just days before opening night.  Owner Gayliene Omary estimates she lost $20,000, her working capital.  Discouraged and broke, she can no longer afford to do any more productions.  The last production of "Grabnet" brought in only 25 paying customers, and three nights of performances had to be cancelled because there were no bookings.

"The complacency and apathy of Utah County audiences is killing us," Omary said.  ". . . People don't want to pay for dinner theater."  The theater depends on the profit from the dinner sales to keep afloat.

The American Fork Arts Council's production of "The Importance of Being Earnest" is scheduled at the Grove Theater the second week of April.  Omary said she may be able to hang on until early summer so she can produce the city's traditional Strawberry Days melodrama.

Omary took a second mortgage on her home to buy the theater, but she did not have enough money in reserve.  She now recommends having at least two years' worth of operating capital before starting.  The estimated asking price for the Grove Theatre is $600,000.

The Valley Center Playhouse in Lindon puts on about ten shows each year, but most of their funds come from the Halloween and Christmas plays.