The man behind a proposal to turn the Bedford Playhouse into a non-profit theater discussed his plan at the Bedford Town Board meeting on Tuesday and outlined a tentative time table, a meeting video shows.
It was mentioned that the idea was because Bow Tie Cinemas, the current theater tenant, is not renewing its lease that expires at the end of the year.
Discussion begins in the video shortly after the 12-minute mark.
John Farr, who commissioned an online survey to gauge public support, shared the results. The data, which were included in the board’s meeting packet, show that there were 785 responses as of Oct. 2, with 88 percent in favor, 9 percent undecided and just 2 percent against.
Farr was pleased with the feedback.
“That’s pretty astonishing,” he told the board.
However, Farr brought up a challenge, which is the survey showing that most respondents would be willing to contribute on the lower end towards memberships. The results show that 62 percent would only give $100 to $250 while just 1 percent would give more than $5,000. The remainder would give various amounts in between.
“That’s not going to do it,” Farr told the board, but explained that situation is not unusual.
Farr also told the Town Board that he is seeking support from deep-pocketed supports and celebrities – he mentioned Ralph Lauren, Martha Stewart and George Soros as hypothetical examples – and would like to arrange a meeting with them or their representatives.
Aside from memberships, Farr mentioned the importance of events for a non-profit model. However, he cited the current 2-screen arrangement of the Playhouse as a problem, noting their 18-foot widths. As a solution, Farr suggested a renovation to restore the Playhouse to a single-screen theater.