State Theatre of Eustis at risk of final curtain call

Bay Street Players prepare for possible final performances

EUSTIS, Fla. – This holiday season could be the last for a Lake County mainstay. Due to the pandemic, the State Theatre of Eustis is on the brink of closing its doors.

Becky Jaggers serves as president of the Bay Street Players, which has called the theatre home since 1975. The theatre first opened in 1922 as a Vaudeville house, and then became a silent movie theatre.

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“I care very much about this theatre,” she said. “Right now, we are struggling.”

“(The) Bottom line is we here at the State Theatre are in a world of trouble right now,” Bay Street Players Vice President Jim Quinlan added. “Closing for six months devastated us.”

Their production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ runs Dec. 4 through the 13th, and tickets can be purchased here. As their set goes up, many worry when it’s over, the curtain will fall for good on this 98-year-old theatre.

“Help,” exclaimed Quinlan. “Please, if you’re ever seen a show at Bay Street and you ever want to see a show at the State Theatre, now is the time to come forward.”

The theatre reopened in August with strict guidelines and only about 50% capacity; a number Jaggers said they knew wasn’t sustainable but needed to be done to put safety above sales.

“The seating is socially distanced, the names are on the seats, the programs are on the seats and everything is ready to go,” Jaggers said.

The nonprofit needs more than $20,000 to survive and already set up an online fundraiser to avoid becoming a relic of Christmas past. You can donate by clicking here.

“We want to save our theatre,” Jaggers added.

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