By Alex Bridges -- email@example.com
The Strasburg Theater's new owners plan to raise the curtain on the downtown revival.
The buyers want to use the theater, at 151 W. King St., as a venue for stage performances and live music, according to Richard Perryman, one of the partners involved in the purchase by RTR Holding Corp. The purchase price was not available Tuesday. Perryman and Tina Embree make up the purchasing entity.
"We have some big ideas," Perryman said while standing outside the venue.
The new owners plan to bring in local and national musical performers, according the Perryman.
The partners also bought two other properties downtown, according to Town Manager Judson Rex -- an office building across from town hall which features a small theater in the rear and property at 219 W. King St., which is home to Cristina's Cafe, an eatery which features live music.
"We're excited," Rex said.
But the owners expect to make some repairs and renovations to the building before they can reopen the theater.
"It needs a lot of TLC," Perryman said.
The property has sat vacant since the previous owners closed it down a few years ago. The prior owners offered live music and other entertainment at the venue.
The building has issues typical of one left vacant and unattended but doesn't need major work, according to Perryman. He estimates work on the property to take two to three months.
The owners plan to restore the main lobby to its original condition and to spruce up the front of the theater, according to Perryman.
The proprietors plan to offer naming opportunities for patrons and supporters, such as names on bricks or parts of the theater, to continue the community's connection to the organization, Perryman said. Donations would help the group make more improvements to the building, he noted.
"We want the community to be very much part of this," Perryman said.
A member of the RTR team spotted the property while visiting the town during this year's annual Mayfest, Perryman recalled. He noted the process to buy the property felt like it took longer than the mere three months since they saw the theater.
"This adventure was originally going to take place in Northern Virginia, but we decided to bring it on down here," Perryman said.
Since the group set its sights on the theater, the town has helped serve as a conduit for the new owners to meet other downtown community leaders and business proprietors, Rex said.
While new to Strasburg, Perryman said residents have greeted the new owners to downtown.
"We've learned a lot about the building," Perryman said. "I had the doors open this morning and before an hour six people had stopped to talk to me. We're in a prime location certainly.
"Every time I'm in town I meet someone that I hadn't met before," Perryman added. "They're telling me their stories or they met their husband or wife here on a blind date. There's a lot of community support for this thing. We're very encouraged to be here."
Perryman further explained that he and his business partners belonged to other theater organizations.
"We brought all our talent and skills together to bring life down here," Perryman said.