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This theatre has once again been sold for $35,000 to two local women. It will become the “Norwalk Arts Center LLC.” The interior is in rough shape and has not been heated or air-conditioned in some years. The roof has also had some issues and will need replacing. The stage floor is buckled due to water damage and the lighting system no longer operates. Unsure as to the former sound system. The carbon arc projectors remain but have not been operated for a long time. The plans are to repair and re-open with children’s theatre, other events and classes.
The new owner has been doing some interior/exterior work however the building appears to be without central heating at the present time. The owner has done some repair work on the marquee and removed some exterior paint on the front of the building to reveal the original stencil work and color. On the inside, the panels over the “half-wainscotting” have been removed which would tend to have lighting from the interior lobby spill into the auditorium. There is a Facebook Page—(type in the search box “The Norwalk Theatre” and there should be some photos. No event for the building has been set up as far as I know. Regarding the balcony carpeting: this was the original floorcovering from when the theatre was constructed. As the balcony wasn’t open that frequently, it remained in relatively good shape and the original color was still bright.
The former State theatre building has now been demolished.
The building where this theatre was located still exists. At a later point in time, the Forum Theatre building was occupied by the J.C Penney store. There are multiple offices in the building currently.
Between the years of 2006-2010, the were a few “volunteers” who provided gratis services during that period. There were also 4 different managers for the theatre, not including those who were interviewed for that position. Bartering for goods/services in return for advertising was also, I believe, an issue
which eventually didn’t sit well with the local population. During the Schine years, prior to 1971, the theatre HIRED local people to work in part-time positions. If a business is a “for profit” entity, it’s an unwise business move to ask for volunteer workers.
Interesting previous comment! The 2006 purchasers of the Norwalk Theatre were provided with a “turnkey” operation. Everything necessary (and more!) to begin providing live entertainment was included in the sale. The place was certainly not “a dump” as they may have told others. The building was absolutely clean. The 2006 purchasers visited the area several times and took photos of the premises so they knew exactly what they were purchasing. It is quite true that many things in the buildings were taken out and sold: original lighting fixtures in the lobby, racks of valuable costumes, the theatre organ and the grand piano are ones of which I’m aware. Unfortunately they also asked people to “donate” to their profit-making venture—which was NOT a 501©3 operation. Since the most recent sale in July 2012, besides the roofing repairs and some changing light bulbs, nothing else appears to have been done and there is no re-open date scheduled. Really sad as T & C Players, who had owned the building since 1974, filled the place for years with live shows and concerts.
Update on the Norwalk Theatre: the new owner has begun repairing the roof on the building. No doubt there will be a great deal of interior work to deal with as well. There doesn’t appear to be a re-open date available yet but it’s a step in the right direction!
The theatre was purchased by a local man but the transfer hasn’t yet taken place according to the county auditor’s website. Default on mortgage and property taxes resulted in the low sale price. Judging from the interior and exterior appearance, it will take many $$$ to clean and restore.
The Norwalk Theatre was sold at auction on 7/31/2012 for $30,000, pending approval of the court.
The theatre has been closed since autumn 2011. The interior & exterior were not maintained. Water damage is evident on the ceiling and stage floor. A portion of the marquee is falling apart. A for-profit children’s theatre group was involved for a while but little maintainence (or cleaning) was done since the building was sold by Towne & Country in November 2006.
This theatre is now being offered at auction at the end of July 2012.
According to notices posted on the doors to this theatre, it has closed and is in receivership with a Cleveland-based commercial real estate company.
I was a child when the Gilger Theatre burned.The above Google map is incorrect when showing the position of the theatre. It was located one block west of its shown position on the map. The area where the theatre was located is now the Norwalk Public Library parking lot. On the day after the fire, my family watched as the orginal marquee was cut down.
The theatre was sold in November 2006 to out-of-state buyers. Yes, the theatre is currently listed with a local realtor. Unfortunately both the organ and grand piano have been sold as well as the large inventory of costumes. No original volunteers or employees are affiliated with the Main Street Theatre.