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Council hears latest update on Odeum

September 12, 2013

(Photo: James Bessette) The East Greenwich Town Council received a long-awaited update on the future of the Greenwich Odeum Theater, the historic venue on Main Street that closed down for the summer due to organizational restructuring.

EAST GREENWICH — All throughout the summer months, Main Street was alive and well much ado to the many events that transpired on the small strip of Route 1 that cuts through the heart of the town, such as the ever-popular Main Street Stroll and residents just taking their own strolls up and down the street to either dine or shop.

But there is one spot on Main Street that unfortunately remained quiet since the beginning of June, mere months after it saw a revival of music, singing, dancing and even public discussion for East Greenwich to enjoy.
And the Town Council – along with the other residents in East Greenwich – wants to know when their beloved performing arts venue will turn the stage lights back on and have the curtain rise again.
During the Town Council’s brief meeting that lasted a little over a half hour Monday evening at Town Hall, Bruce Rollins, the interim president for the Greenwich Odeum Corporation, gave the five-member quorum and Interim Town Manager Thomas Coyle an update as to where the organization, and the historic theater on Main Street, currently stands during its restructuring phase.
Rollins addressed the Town Council that the Odeum, after its grand reopening back in January, hosted a total of seven shows, including an interview series with WPRO radio personality John DePetro as the emcee, most of which were successes despite the theater not being sold out for each event.
It was toward the end of the spring, Rollins said, that the Odeum board decided it needed to reassess its plan on what kind of entertainment it needed to bring into the theater and new plans for fundraising, as well as looking at the composition of the Odeum board, itself. As a result, the Odeum went dark - and it remains as such.
Rollins said despite the Odeum being closed, the organization has been doing “aggressive fundraising,” including having a successful event at Finn’s Harborside midway through the summer, having some corporations donate to the theater group.
Rollins, in addressing the Council, showed optimism by saying the organization is anticipating of having the Odeum’s doors open again to performances hopefully in October, with an “additional kind of entertainment.”
Rollins added that he has been receiving all kinds of feedback from area residents about what shows they would like to see inside the Odeum when it reopens. He said there were a lot of people he spoke with who feel the Odeum should bring back movies.
The interim Odeum president also stated he got the feedback from two separate age groups in regards to the idea of movies at the old venue. One group, Rollins said, felt there should be a return to showing classic films.

For the rest of this story and more local news, pick up the Sept. 12 issue of the East Greenwich Pendulum.

Southern Rhode Island Newspapers
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