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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.

View Mitri's email here.

Garry Kanter December 06, 2012 at 11:30 AM
You could shake a Magic 8 Ball, turn it over, and get wisdom like this: "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." "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." "The city stands ready and willing to work with the owner of the building," he said.
Garry Kanter December 06, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Too bad the mayor can't say something like: "Howard Thompson, our Manager of Economic Development, and city council have developed, approved, and funded the following programs that are available to help all business people in CH who want to help maintain the commercial viability of our great city..." But that would require leadership, thinking, foresight, hard work, etc., and those things are all sadly absent at city hall. It's so much easier to spout meaningless platitudes, and then give away taxpayer $ and land to the good ol' boys. See: Lee-Meadowbrook. Btw, anybody seen or heard from Mr. Thompson, lately?
Ken Adams December 06, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Or they could just give out another $500,000 and not have it paid back......like they did for Steve Presser
Garry Kanter December 06, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Sad, but true. And they keep repeating those bad decisions. This has got to stop. Maybe next November?
Peter Bruce Photo December 06, 2012 at 10:41 PM
please don't do it
Ken Adams December 07, 2012 at 05:38 PM
This liberal city is going to keep voting in liberal bad decision makers. apparently you can't fix stupid.

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