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It's Curtains for the Pasadena Playhouse Tonight

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Tonight is closing night for "Camelot" and the theatre in which it's been running. The Pasadena Playhouse is closing its doors following tonight's performance, thanks to about $3 million in debt, reports KTLA.

The next moves for the theatre, whose roots reach back to 1917 when an actor and director began to put on community theatre shows in an old burlesque house, remain unclear.

With an annual operating budget of $7 million, Executive Director Steven Eich believes it would take at least $10 million to re-open the Playhouse. For now, all 37 staff members have been laid off, though the theatre will continue to work from an administrative space donated on Rosemead Blvd.

The financial history of the Playhouse is as varied and tumultuous as the venue itself, which was built in 1925 and designed by Elmer Grey, and was named the State Theatre of California in 1937.

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While the theatre boasted a reputable training academy for both actors and the infant medium known as television, "the historic building on South El Molino Avenue was taken over by the bank," in 1969, and did not reopen until the mid-80s, when it emerged from a "major privately funded restoration." A decade later its then-operating company went bankrupt. Of all the financial woes the Playhouse has, rent is not one of them; they lease the building from the City of Pasadena for $1 a year.

Eich and the Playhouse staff promise to keep their fans apprised if anything can and will be done to re-open the Playhouse in the near future.

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