Grove Theatre in Peril After Refusing to Perform Play
PLEASANT GROVE, UT – The Grove Theatre has been in financial peril since August 2003, when a cast member and a journalist reported the theater to copyright monitor Samuel French, Inc. for planning to perform Neil Simon’s play “Rumors” without profanity.
After being told that she “must present the play as written or not at all,” owner Gayliene Omary decided to cancel the play rather than go against community standards. The journalist then wrote a column on the situation he helped create, saying, “How Samuel French learned of the alterations is a mystery worthy of Agatha Christie…”
The dinner theater did not have a backup show ready and had already spent several thousand dollars in production costs and promotion. The closure exhausted the theater’s reserve fund of $20,000 and basically left the theater without any working capital. By April 2004, Omary was broke and was forced to cancel the theater’s two remaining plays.
Attempts at fundraising have failed to produce enough money to put on another production. Now the theater will be repossesed by the bank in June unless Omary can find investors – or as she calls them, “theater angels” – with at least $100,000.
The 80-year-old Grove Theatre is located in the small town of Pleasant Grove and was originally known as the Alhambra. As a discount movie theater, the Alhambra could not show R-rated movies because residents would not attend. The Towne Cinemas in nearby American Fork made headlines and sparked the current edited video controversy when it removed nudity and a sex scene from second-run showings of “Titanic”.
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