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Community Little Theatre to host public meeting on search for new home

Great Falls Art Center, home to Community Little Theatre and several arts-related tenants, is due for demolition in June, 2011.

The Board of Directors of Lewiston-Auburn Community Little Theatre met Saturday, November 20 in a three-hour meeting to discuss the Auburn City Council’s decision to demolish the Great Falls Art Center. The building must be vacated by May, 2011. Demolition is planned for June, 2011.

CLT and other tenants have a six-month period to find a new home. After much discussion and options, it was decided to hold a Town Hall meeting at 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 27 at Great Falls Art Center, 30 Academy St., Auburn.

This meeting is open to all members of CLT, its theater subscribers and patrons, as well as to those interested in the arts and to the public at large. The press and television media are also invited.

The board will share the direction it will take over the next 45 days and beyond. A search documenting all options that may be available in Androscoggin County is underway. The options to be explored include moving to a temporary facility while a capital campaign is undertaken to build a new theater or renovate an existing building.

The members, patrons and the public will be asked to assist the board with ideas and suggestions. Contact names and numbers will be provided to those who may have suggestions over the next 30 days.

In addition, the public will be asked to provide any thoughts they may have to assist the theater in the physical move from GFAC. The logistics of moving and storing items after decades of accumulating lighting, sets, props and costumes is a daunting task.

The CLT staff and board will be on hand to outline some of the major concerns as the community comes together to assist CLT in search of a new home.

CLT will discuss the establishment of a dedicated fund to assist CLT in securing a new home; funds will be required above and beyond any in the budget. It is hoped the community will rally behind CLT so the theater may indeed live for another 70 years and provide entertainment and opportunities to the citizens of Auburn and Lewiston and many other communities throughout the State of Maine.

Lastly, and very importantly, CLT realizes it is not alone in seeking a new home. Many other arts-related tenants need to vacate Great Falls Art Center. As CLT undertakes to find new space, it will continue to be mindful of the needs of the other displaced tenants.

The board recognizes its fiduciary obligations to CLT. But in its quest to find temporary and long-term solutions, any opportunities or ideas presented to benefit other tenants will be made known to them.

The CLT Board of Directors, members, patrons and citizens have vowed they will not let their theater go dark after seven decades of service to the community. The board encourages citizens to attend the Town Hall Meeting.

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