According to the News-Journal, Daytona State College has given up on taking over the theater. The Seaside Music Theater is part of the News-Journal Center for which a college acquisition was in the works.
Lester Malizia had this to say:
“I realize the economic situation is horrible around the country, but good God, why turn your back on something that was so positive, so good for the community and was doing such good work?”
He’s been the art director at the theater for 20 years. I haven’t been to the theater, and I see their website is a couple months out of date, but apparently they had a whole bunch of summer performances scheduled, which were canceled due to their insolvency these past six months. And they owe thousands of dollars to ticket-holders for plays that were never shown. They’re selling off computers and costumes just to refund what they owe. It was a quarter-million dollars as of July, but no one would give more up-to-date figures.
“SMT had been struggling financially since a lawsuit by Cox Enterprises, which owns 47.5 percent of The News-Journal, forced the Davidson family and News-Journal Corp. to sever ties with the theater.”
I don’t think the theater ever provided enough value to the local community to justify its operating costs. The News-Journal was taking a loss on it before, and without their help, the theater would obviously fail. It’s a shame, but this will make way for newer, better theaters.