Exeter theater group suspends campaign to save Ioka
EXETER — The Exeter Theater Company has suspended its efforts to save Exeter’s historic Ioka theater and is now making plans to return money donated to its campaign.
In an open letter to the community and its donors, Tony Callendrello, chairman of the theater group’s board of directors, announced that the plan to purchase, restore and reopen the Ioka was being put on hold.
“After much consideration and after exploring numerous options, we have made the difficult decision to suspend our efforts to acquire the Ioka and return your donations,” he wrote.
The nonprofit theater company hoped to purchase the 98-year-old Ioka from owner Alan Lewis, but fearing it wouldn’t meet its financial goals, later asked Lewis to gift the theater to the group in an effort to resurrect the landmark after its closure in 2008.
Lewis, a Kensington resident known for his philanthropy, purchased the Ioka at auction in 2011 in the hope that it would be reopened as a community-run theater. His most recent offer was to sell the theater to the group for $400,000, but he said the next owner would have to invest at least $4 million to renovate the building.
“A lot of factors conspired against us, but in the end the economic climate and timing wasn’t right. We had many productive conversations with major donors and potential partners in this venture. All of them expressed their sincere desire to see the Ioka returned to life, but various obstacles and circumstances prevented them from providing financial backing,” Callendrello wrote in his letter.
The group is now in the process of returning the financial contributions made by donors who supported the campaign, which had raised more than $150,000.
In the letter to donors, Callendrello wrote, “There were moments when we could have risked your money on agreements with a low likelihood of success. We made the often-difficult decision to hold your donations securely, wanting to commit your money only on a fair and sustainable option. We tasked ourselves to be careful and reliable stewards of your money, and I feel we’ve succeeded in that.”
Donations are expected to be returned by the end of the year, Callendrello said.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Thomas Sowell: The 'experts' look down on you - 0
- Kathy Sullivan: We need to rethink some of our county government positions - 10
- David Harsanyi: The two-state solution is dead - 1
- Pat Buchanan: A rogue President remakes America - 1
- Another View -- Max Boot: Six steps to a better strategy for defeating ISIS - 1
- Jonah Goldberg: Wait, when did we finish talking about Gruber? - 4
- Charles Krauthammer: The climate pact swindle - 0
- Roger Simon: So why don't the media report better news? - 0
- George Will: Required reading on a Rockefeller - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Police say hit-and-run driver was observed tossing beer cans from car - 0
- City championship on the line Thanksgiving Day - 0
- Your Turn, NH -- Mike Moffett: Republicans can win in 2016 with Kasich at the top of the ticket - 0
- On being American: A point for reflection - 0
- Police say woman stole pocketbook at Hudson Market Basket - 0
- Police say former manager of Hudson McDonald's stole $10k from restaurant - 0
- Manchester school exec contract squeaks by - 0
- Dartmouth gets 10 picks on All-Ivy team - 0
- College Roundup: Mabrey leads St. Anselm men; UNH tops BU - 0
Pipes and plans: A chance to show up Mass.
Manchester school exec contract squeaks by
Your Turn, NH -- Mike Moffett: Republicans can win in 2016 with Kasich at the top of the ticket
On being American: A point for reflection