Exeter theater group suspends campaign to save Ioka
EXETER — The Exeter Theater Company has suspended its efforts to save Exeter’s historic Ioka theater and is now making plans to return money donated to its campaign.
In an open letter to the community and its donors, Tony Callendrello, chairman of the theater group’s board of directors, announced that the plan to purchase, restore and reopen the Ioka was being put on hold.
“After much consideration and after exploring numerous options, we have made the difficult decision to suspend our efforts to acquire the Ioka and return your donations,” he wrote.
The nonprofit theater company hoped to purchase the 98-year-old Ioka from owner Alan Lewis, but fearing it wouldn’t meet its financial goals, later asked Lewis to gift the theater to the group in an effort to resurrect the landmark after its closure in 2008.
Lewis, a Kensington resident known for his philanthropy, purchased the Ioka at auction in 2011 in the hope that it would be reopened as a community-run theater. His most recent offer was to sell the theater to the group for $400,000, but he said the next owner would have to invest at least $4 million to renovate the building.
“A lot of factors conspired against us, but in the end the economic climate and timing wasn’t right. We had many productive conversations with major donors and potential partners in this venture. All of them expressed their sincere desire to see the Ioka returned to life, but various obstacles and circumstances prevented them from providing financial backing,” Callendrello wrote in his letter.
The group is now in the process of returning the financial contributions made by donors who supported the campaign, which had raised more than $150,000.
In the letter to donors, Callendrello wrote, “There were moments when we could have risked your money on agreements with a low likelihood of success. We made the often-difficult decision to hold your donations securely, wanting to commit your money only on a fair and sustainable option. We tasked ourselves to be careful and reliable stewards of your money, and I feel we’ve succeeded in that.”
Donations are expected to be returned by the end of the year, Callendrello said.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Thomas Sowell: Freedom is not free; you've got to fight for it - 0
- Michael C. Whitney: A small gas tax hike would be good for business - 5
- Jonah Goldberg: In the case of My Brother's Keeper, race does, and should, matter - 0
- Charles Arlinghaus: The NH Senate's Medicaid trap - 0
- Rep. William Butynski: A casino gambling plan that works for NH - 3
- George Will: Misreading Putin, and history - 4
- Rep. Kenneth Fredette: NH should avoid Maine’s Medicaid mistake - 5
- David Harsanyi: Social conservatives would benefit by embracing libertarianism - 1
- Jonah Goldberg : Let the market punish intolerant retailers - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- John Stossel: Budget baloney - 0
- College Hockey: Dartmouth, PSU hit road for tourneys - 0
- NHIAA Roundup: North beats Memorial, advances in hockey tourney - 0
- NHIAA Basketball: Campbell, Bergeon roll into quarterfinals - 0
- Rask stops 16 shots as B's blank Caps - 0
- Several union deals on Windham ballots - 0
- Manchester man convicted on drug, weapons counts - 0
- Londonderry set to vote on school repairs - 0
- Danville police chief's challenger says department in dire shape - 0
John Stossel: Budget baloney
Got a power problem??Call the problem solve
Several union deals on Windham ballots
Bad Joe: Levasseur stalls again
House says no to bill to reduce NH meals tax
Good Joe: Kenney for Executive Council