Vive Les Arts Theatre in Killeen could soon close

Posted at 9:42 AM, Jul 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-24 13:33:27-04

A Central Texas theater could be closing its doors soon, but members of the community are not letting it go without a fight.

Community members from the theater said the emotion was very strong and you could sense the sadness as they learned the Vive Les Arts Theatre could possibly be closing.

Volunteers said one of the board members abruptly announced that The Little Mermaid show they were rehearsing for could be the last without any explanation as to why.

It was later confirmed that the announcement came after the theatre had been facing financial instability over the past five years. Board members said there was a significant decrease in ticket sales, membership purchases, and some of the sponsors that support the theater. 

Dennis Williams has volunteered at the theater for more than 30 years and believes closing the doors would be of great disservice to both civilian and military families in the area.

“We don't understand why we weren't told about this like a year ago. That artistic outlet both as audience and as participants is of immeasurable impact and benefit. Our lives are not just built on what we do from 8 to 5,” Williams said.

This theater is a nonprofit organization that's run strictly off volunteers and support of donations from the community. Volunteers say half of the board voted to close the theater, while the other half wanted to keep it open. Since the announcement more than half of the executive board have resigned. 

In a statement sent by the chairman Summer Heidtbrink, she said now they're leaving it up to the community to decide if the theater will stay open or close.

"What should have been done instead of the board saying that was our final vote, what they should have done is taken that and said ok now we're going to recommend this to the membership of the organization for a vote instead of saying that was the final vote and then issuing the press release that we were closing, ” Heidtbrink said.

Members of the organization will all have an opportunity to vote at a meeting on August 1 at 6:00 p.m. People in the community who are not yet members still have a chance to sign up by July 31, so they too can vote on the fate of the theater. 

If you would like to join the community in their efforts to keep the VLA open by offering a donation click here to learn how. 

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