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‘Heavy hearts’: Victoria theatre company leaving Roxy amid financial woes

Theatre group is liquidating its assets
Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre has been operating out of the Roxy Theatre on Quadra Street. (Ella Matte/News Staff)

A pillar of Victoria’s live performance community is undergoing radical restructuring that includes leaving its theatre.

Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre announced Tuesday (Dec. 5) that with “heavy hearts” it would be leaving the Roxy Theatre as of Dec. 31.

Blue Bridge also said it was in the process of liquidating its assets.

“The building will return to the landlord and we will be selling off our assets to satisfy our debt in the community,” said a news release. “Watch for further announcements regarding the sale of these, which include costumes, props, furniture, lighting and sound equipment and various other equipment. Look for opportunities during the week between Christmas and New Year’s to come lend a hand or buy a few odds and ends as we clear out 10 years of shows and memories.”

Blue Bridge had previously purchased the Roxy for nearly $1 million but then ended up having to put it up for sale in 2021.

Now Blue Bridge is starting the process of finding a new home.

“As we will no longer have a home, we are actively looking for another venue for our 2024 season,” said a news release. “Please be assured that the remainder of the 2024 season is not cancelled at this time. We will not be in the Roxy Theatre but we are actively exploring other venues in town for these shows. This may result in some slight adjustments to the schedules or the programming but we will keep you up to date as we move forward.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on many industries, such as tourism and restaurants, first closing down many outlets and then changing the entertainment habits of many people.

“Recent years have been very tough on every theatre company in the country,” read the statement. “The pandemic delivered major blows to our bottom line. We worked to stay viable with live-streamed theatre but, throughout, resilience funding proved elusive for Blue Bridge. Since reopening to live performance, audiences have been slow to return and extraordinary expenses related to the pandemic have hit us hard. Despite the sale of the Roxy Theatre and the generous support of our landlord and donors, our expenses have outstripped our revenue these past two years and we have struggled to stay open and to continue to offer the kind of quality theatre that Victoria audiences have come to expect.”

Chris Campbell

About the Author: Chris Campbell

I joined the Victoria News hub as an editor in 2023, bringing with me over 30 years of experience from community newspapers in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley
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