It's official: the Willows Theater Company is no more.
That means both the Campbell Theater in Martinez and the 210-seat theater in the Willows Shopping Center in Concord will go dark and no more shows will be presented. It leaves Martinez with a building, stage and seats, and some equipment. There will be no back rent or future income from at the Willows Company, however.
The Martinez City Council on Wednesday gave negotiators direction on working with the Willows to obtain equipment that was relocated from the Campbell Theater to the Concord facility. Martinez officials want that equipment, which was given to the city in lieu of back rent, to return to the Campbell for use by community groups. The council met in closed session on that issue.
"Last night at a Special Board of Directors meeting of The Benefactors, Inc. dba The Willows Theatre Company, after careful review of all available options, a resolution was passed by the Board of Directors to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy," said Willows board president Dennis Woodward in a statement Thursday.
"The decision to close down the Willows Theatre Company, which operates both the 210 seat theater in the Willows Shopping Center, Concord and the 160 seat Campbell cabaret theater in Martinez, was difficult and emotional.
"The board of directors, the management and the staff of the Willows wish to thank all of the patrons, actors, donors, sponsors and supporters through whose support allowed us to bring quality live theatre to the East Bay since 1977. The Board of Directors apologizes to all of you for any disappointment and inconvenience that this decision may have caused."
He noted that the Center REPertory Company has extended an invitation to Willows subscribers and ticket holders to use those tickets for an upcoming production of Lucky Stiff at Walnut Creek's Lesher Center, which runs from Aug. 31 to Oct. 7.