Non-profit signs lease, takes over Harbor Theater on Oct. 1

Posted:  Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 8:30am
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Harbor Theater, the newly-named non-profit organization taking over ownership of the theater in the Meadow Mall, announced this week it has signed a three-year lease with mall owner Tom Ellis, with two additional three-year options or a total of nine years.

On Oct. 1, Harbor Theater will begin operations under its 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt non-profit status. Jason Sheckley, who has owned the theater since 2002, will continue to manage it as an employee of the non-profit.

Harbor Theater Board President Bob Devine said gaining a new lease was a “crucial step” in taking over the theater. “Without a new lease – the current one expires Sept. 30 -- we had nowhere to go. We are delighted that Tom Ellis, who owns Meadow Mall, reached agreement with us on mutually beneficial terms.” Ellis is headquartered in Hermon, Maine near Bangor and owns 50 other malls and like properties.

Harbor Theater (formerly known as Friends of the Harbor) was founded in 2007 to sustain and perpetuate the availability of quality motion pictures in the Boothbay region. Between 2007 and 2011 the Friends raised funds for a new screen, new seats and other equipment, and rented the theater for a Wednesday night film series to help Sheckley who was still commuting from New York State at that time.

The theater will be operated as a community resource and will depend on regular attendance, memberships and charitable contributions as sources of income.

A membership campaign is underway for the 2017-2018 season. Membership categories have been simplified to $40 for single and $75 family. Ticket prices have been reduced and limited to two levels: $10 for adults and $8 for children up to 18 years. Members earn a further $2 discount on all tickets on presentation of membership cards. Members will also receive weekly email briefings on current and upcoming films, and be invited to an annual member-only event.

Membership application forms have been mailed and are also available at the theater or by emailing harbortheaterbbh@gmail.com