SALADO (February 18, 2013)--The Silver Spur Theater, a venue for vaudeville shows, stage plays and live music, is closing its doors after eight years because of economic challenges it can’t surmount.
"It's difficult," said co-founder and owner Grainger Esch.
"There are a lot of things I'm going to miss about it, but I have to take off the rose-colored glasses for a bit and realize that it's just not economically sustainable the way it's going."
Esch said it costs anywhere from $10,000 to $12,000 to operate the theater monthly.
"We're very reliant on tourist traffic, and that has not been enough for the rising cost of production, overhead and utilities," Esch said.
Esch said the theater has been "running on a shoestring with a skeleton crew."
He said he even tried leasing the theater for public events and live music shows, but that still didn't bring in enough revenue.
He said he opened the theater because he wanted to provide family entertainment for the community and make everyone laugh.
"We've been successful at that mission, so I feel accomplished," Esch said.
Esch, and the theater's staff, which consists of a technical director, a musical director, a house manager and several actors and singers who are contracted, don't feel that they're leaving empty-handed.
"We've made people happy and enabled people to forget their troubles and have a good time," he said.
Before closing its doors, the theater will be presenting a Vaudeville show titled "Schtick Happens" on March 1.