PORT ANGELES — City officials are processing temporary use and occupancy permits for two holiday season shows at the long-shuttered Lincoln Theater, which spun movies for 98 years before closing in March 2014.
The downtown theater is owned by Jam Properties of PA LLC, now solely managed by Marty and Deborah Marchant of Port Angeles, formerly partners with Port Angeles restaurant owner Jacob Oppelt.
The permits for the production at the gutted 132 E. First St. venue would cover two weekends in December, Allyson Brekke, department of community and economic development director, said Friday in a voicemail.
Deborah Marchant said Monday the Marchants are fulfilling the requirements of a checklist to obtain the permits.
If they are approved, the musical comedy and pantomime production, “Snow White and the Five Housemates,” will be staged Dec. 7-9 and Dec. 14-16 at what organizers are aptly calling The Lincoln in the Rough, Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marc Abshire said Monday.
The chamber and Nemesis Theater Productions of Port Angeles are producing the event.
“There are no seats, but we are working on getting seats for the performance,” Abshire said.
“This is an opportunity to really get folks to get back into the theater and kind of get them excited about being part of the restoration of an iconic building in our town and enjoy the holidays.”
Tickets will be $15 for adults and $10 for patrons 18 years old and under.
The musical comedy is being co-directed by Naomi Alstrup of Sequim and Shannon Cosgrove of Port Angeles, who wrote the play.
Marchant is hoping that curiosity about what’s in store for the theater will drive people to attend.
“We’ll probably have up some posterboard in the lobby so people can get an idea of the future,” she said.
The Marchants want to turn the theater into a nonprofit performing arts venue, Marchant said.
The fundraising goal of The Lincoln Theater Project is to raise $1.5 million to revitalize the former movie house, she said.
Jam Properties purchased the theater from Wenatchee Productions Inc., for $225,000 in June 2016.
Oppelt, the public face of the project, expressed plans to remodel it into a performance and music venue and hopes of featuring Seattle rapper Macklemore at the theater’s projected June 2017 opening.
In June 2017, Oppelt estimated the project would be completed in spring or summer 2018.
Oppelt, whose own company was doing the remodeling, attributed the delay to the complexity of electrical, plumbing and mechanical engineering work.
The partnership between Oppelt and the Marchants split up around April or May, Oppelt said in a mid-October interview.
“Marty was going in a different direction than we had originally planned,” said Oppelt.
“I signed my interest away to Marty in April or May.
“This worked out best for both of us.”
“It’s very disappointing,” Oppelt added.
“It’s an exciting project, and I hope it ends up being what the potential could be.”
The Marchants had declined to be interviewed about the change to Jam Properties until Monday.
The purchase by Jam Properties was financed by the Marchants and the remodeling project managed by Oppelt, Deborah Marchant said.
“We didn’t buy out Jake,” Deborah Marchant said.
“We bought the building and paid for a lot of the work to be done.
“Jake was helping by managing the project.
“He was very busy with lots of other projects and coudn’t really put all his attention into this, so we just dissolved that partnership.”
Deborah Marchant said Monday she and her husband are turning the theater into a nonprofit entity to finish the remodeling project.
The Marchants and Oppelt differed on if the theater should be a for-profit or nonprofit entity, Marchant said.
“As Marty and I learned more, as we went through the process, we found more interest in going the nonprofit route,” she said.
The Marchants have registered the Lincoln Theatre as a nonprofit corporation, are working on paperwork to give the corporation 501(c)(3) status and will be mounting a fundraising drive to finish the project, Marchant said.
The goal is to raise $1.5 million for restoration.
Jam Properties’ purchase came after efforts by the nonprofit group Light Up the Lincoln had failed to raise enough funds from the community to purchase the facility to turn it into a nonprofit performing arts center.
The Port Angeles Theatre Project, which spearheaded Light up the Lincoln, was headed by executive director Scott Nagel, a festivals, events and arts producer.
Marchant said Nagel is currently serving in an advisory capacity to the Marchants on the project.
“We are looking for sponsors and donors and anyone that would be interested in helping in different capacities,” she said.
“I think success will come from a group effort.”
The British born Marchant said she has a degree in travel and tourism and experience in the hospitality industry.
Marty Marchant is head of client services at Port Angeles-based Westport Yachts LLC.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].