Historic Old Town Theater endures yet another temporary shutdown

66
Roger Fons sold the Old Town Theater, which he ran as a film house, to Rob Kaufman several years ago. Though Kaufman considered converting it to retail space, he eventually restored the building. (File Photo)

By Erich Wagner (File photo)

As residents walked past the Old Town Theater on King Street this week, they may have noticed that the historic venue’s marquees had once again gone blank.

Owner Rob Kaufman said the latest shuttering — he closed down the century-old theater for a couple months just last fall — is temporary. As in the previous closure, Kaufman said he wants to revamp the lineup and change “some of the management,” but declined to describe the changes in detail.

“We’re just doing some reprogramming, and I decided that we’d do it without it being open,” he said. “[It’s] just easier to give ourselves the time to do it without trying to keep up with the ongoing activities.”

When Kaufman first bought the venue in 2011, he proposed renovating the building for retail use. After public outcry, he agreed to keep the space as a theater and music venue.

But the theater has struggled since its reopening. Kaufman closed the theater from October to December 2013, a period that marked a schism between the venue and operations manager Tom Kennedy*, who previously ran a haven for standup comedy.

Kaufman hopes to have the latest iteration of the Old Town Theater open for business by August 15, with a new batch of shows scheduled for the fall.

*An earlier version of this article erroneously referred to Tom Kennedy as Tim Kennedy.