Arts & Entertainment

Pasadena Playhouse to close due to financial woes

Pasadena Playhouse
Pasadena Playhouse

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The curtain’s falling at the Pasadena Playhouse, possibly for good. Administrators said today that the venerable house’s current production will be its last.

The theater’s executive director told the Los Angeles Times that the Playhouse owes its creditors $2 million dollars with no way to pay. Thirty seven employees, he said, will be out of work after the musical “Camelot” ends its run a week from Sunday.

In a statement, theater administrators said they’re starting a financial reorganization and possibly a bankruptcy filing. That’s because the theater hasn’t attracted a big donor to name the auditorium, corporate donations have dwindled, and the economy’s soured.

The Pasadena Playhouse has tightened its belt before through staff and budget cuts. It’s staging the usually opulent “Camelot” in a stripped-down version with eight actors.

The Playhouse building is a historic landmark. Many notable actors, including Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman, trod the boards there early in their careers.

(Audio: KPCC's Alex Cohen spoke with Stephen Eich, executive director of the Pasadena Playhouse)