Drive down Miami’s Main Street and you will see a little sign in the window of the Miami Little Theatre building. It is not the schedule for the current season. It reads “For Sale.”
But don’t worry. The economy has not put the Miami Little Theatre (MLT) out of business. In fact, things are going so well that the organization is buying a new building.
“We’re doing so well that we’ve outgrown our little building,” said Pam Catt, president of the MLT.
The theatre company is in the process of purchasing the three-story building across North Main Street that used to house a sports bar and before that, a furniture store.
“We’ve purchased a lot of special effects equipment that is stored all over town because there’s just not enough space left in our building,” Catt said. “Yet, we can’t always find the equipment when we need it and end up having to purchase it again.”
For example, the MLT now has four different sets of staircases and three sets of revolving equipment. In addition, the theatre company has hundreds of costumes. The new building will provide more space and will enable the plays to be rehearsed with spacing more similar to the eventual performances at the Coleman Theatre.
The new building will also provide the MLT with the opportunity to build the sets for upcoming productions, rehearse on them and only partially dismantle it before taking it to the Coleman.
“It won’t take any time at all to erect the on the stage of the Coleman Theatre,” Catt said. “We’ll be able to spend more time on the lighting and the sound when we get to the Coleman, making the plays even more professional.”
In the past, the summer Youth on Stage program was done in a morning and afternoon group simply because there were too many participants to do it in one group. With the larger size of the new building, Catt anticipates being about to work with all the children at the same time.
“Yes, buying a new building with the economy in the position it is can be called a leap of faith,” Catt said.
In addition to the initial down payment the MLT already has and the profit from the sale of its current building, Catt said they are considering hosting small dinner theatres for fund raising.
One of the first changes Catt would like to see done to the new building is removing the covering from the upstairs windows of the building.
Plans are also in the works to remove the temporary walls that has been mounted throughout the new building.
“It’s mostly cosmetic work,” Catt said. “Everyone involved with the Little Theatre is excited about this.