MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - With live performances still on hold and no sign of a near comeback, the arts are struggling to survive.
As a result, the Orpheum started a new initiative to help during these difficult times.
The last time the public was able to attend a performance at the Orpheum was March 14. After five months of no performances one question lingers: “Where does the future of the Orpheum stand?”
“Well, like all art organizations, we’ve really been suffering,” said Brett Batterson, president of the Orpheum.
Batterson says he’s never had to submit a deficit budget before.
“We’re budgeted to have lost about $2 million,” he said.
Let alone manage a theater during a pandemic.
“It’s been frustrating it’s been anger causing, it’s been angst causing… But at the end of the day, patience is our only friend,” said Batterson.
With no money coming in from ticket and concession sales and not knowing when the next performance will be, Batterson says the theater needs help from the community, which is the mission behind their new initiative, “Onward: Funding the Orpheum’s Future.”
“It’s part of a multi-point strategy to bring some income into the Orpheum,” said Batterson.
Batterson also says the mini golf, movie nights and “name a seat” campaign are all part of the initiative to preserve such a historic location.
“We still have our glorious chandeliers much as they existed in 1928, so we’re very lucky that this building has been maintained, but it’s almost been lost a few times and it’s always been through the support of the community that it’s continued and that’s what we hope happens again with Onward,” said Batterson.
The Orpheum has been around for more than 90 years, but it’s future now in the hands the community.
To find out more about the initiative, visit the Orpheum website.