Mayor Kelley Reacts to Big Dog Theater's Closing
The mayor believes cutbacks in entertainment spending led to the closing
Cleveland Heights Mayor Ed Kelley lamented the news that Big Dog Theater will close at the end of the month, attributing it to patrons who needed to cut their spending.
"We're certainly sad to lose them," Kelley said in a phone interview. "They're part of the fabric of the Coventry commercial area.
"The competition for entertainment dollars is so fierce."
Big Dog owner Don Mitri wrote an email to his subscribers Wednesday morning announcing the closure. He said the theater will close after two more shows later this month. The 260-seat theater opened in February 2011.
"This decision was not easy to make, but it was one that had to be made and it is time to say goodbye," Mitri wrote.
The owner said the theater will continue to offer classes, workshops, corporate education and outreach programs. The staff will also book private and public shows.
A message left for Mitri on Wednesday was not returned.
"It's just a tough time, economically, in the entertainment business," Kelley said. "People are still financially hurting and when they hurt they have to cut back on things.
"I think they're a victim of the economy."
Though the Centrum building also houses City & East hookah bar, Kelley said he is hopeful that property owner Coventry Holdings LLC can find a new tenant.
"The city stands ready and willing to work with the owner of the building," he said.