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Pending plans for theater’s closing

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A local non-profit theatrical producing organization that has been operating for 15 years may have to close its doors this fall if it does not find new funders in time.

The Prince Music Theater, founded in 1984 as the American Music Theater Festival, will close its doors on Nov. 30 unless new donors step up and help out with costs.

The historical theater found itself struggling after a successful 2013 season when its chief fundraiser and chairman of the board, Herb Lotman, passed away in May.

The Prince Music Theater is located in Center City Philadelphia right off of Broad Street. The theater provides venues for live concerts and performances and films.

The Board of Directors is hoping to raise $1.6 million in order to keep the theater operating and to support various programming for the 2014/205 season.

Board member and donor Karen Lotman said in a July 2 press release that the announcement was made with extreme sadness.

“Herb and I poured our hearts and souls into the theater and loved watching it grow,” she said. “More than 60,000 people visited this year, but we need a new champion and donor for the organization to move forward,” Lotman said.

For now, all performances scheduled will be honored, however if donations are not made before the end of November, the theater will be forced to close its doors.

This isn’t the first time the Prince Music Theater has run into trouble. Philly.com reports that the theater claimed bankruptcy in October 2010, however post-bankruptcy, the theater saw a successful season with sellout shows from over 200 performances including Evil Dead: The Musical and Potted Potter — The Unauthorized Harry Potter Experience. The theater is also residence to performances from The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus and the Curtis Institute of Music.

Executive director James E. Hines said the theater was turning its focus on curating music theater productions.

“Part of the plan was to restore the business and we successfully achieved our goals,” Hines said in a July 2 press release “The critical part of the plan moving forward involved Mr. Lotman spearheading a fundraising campaign. Unfortunately, his death did not allow that to move forward. His business relationships were key for the institution’s success as they were integral for completing our first year.”

For more information on the Prince Music Theater, visit www.princemusictheater.org.

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