Less than two weeks before what would have been a marquee show featuring two all-time legends of stand-up comedy, Mort Sahl and Dick Gregory, Lakeshore Theater surprised the arts community by announcing its imminent closure this evening.
Here’s the text of the press release: we’re assuming it’s not an April Fool’s joke, though we wish it was.
CHICAGO, IL | April 1, 2010 – The Lakeshore Theater announced today that operations at the venue will cease on April 10th.
Lakeshore co-owner and Executive Producer Chris Ritter said “It saddens me deeply to announce the closing of the Lakeshore. While revenues have continued to grow over the last three years and the Lakeshore brand of comedy, music and good times has successfully taken hold, current revenues are simply insufficient to fund ongoing operations as well as much needed plant repairs and improvements needed to take the company to the next level of success.”
“There’s simply no money available to fund forward looking initiatives.” Ritter continued, “While I believe the theater has actually benefited from the state of the economy in terms of attendance, the current climate makes raising additional capital for such a high-risk venture particularly challenging.”
The Lakeshore offered 280 performance in 2009 and granted 56,000 admissions.
The Lakeshore’s final engagement will be four performances of Australian comedian Jim Jefferies. There will be four performances, Friday, April 9th at 7:30 and 10:30 and Saturday, April 10th at 10:30.
“I’m happy to be able to close with one of my favorite artists working today” Ritter said. “We’ve been presenting Jim since we first started presenting comedy and have had the privilege of watching his career explode with the success of his HBO special. It will be a terrific going-away party.”
Ticket holders for future events beyond April 10 will receive full refunds.