Gremlin Theatre will be closing its performance space in St. Paul this summer at the expiration of its lease.
Artistic Director Peter Christian Hansen writes:
"Our new landlords are looking to possibly develop the building, which extends far to the rear of our performance space, in a different way. They are therefore not prepared to offer us a long term lease extension at this time and we have decided not to engage in a short term extension because of the facility upgrades and capital expenditures that we feel are necessary to both substantially improve the space in its current location as well as to deal with new challenges posed by the transit changes that have taken place on University Avenue.
Therefore, Gremlin has started its search for a new performance space, drawing on our successes and experiences over the last several years in particular. We expect that this will be a thorough and possibly lengthy process."
In the meantime, Gremlin is still producing plays on University Ave, including Six Characters in Search of an Author opening next month. Once the lease expires Hansen says the company will look for opportunities to continue producing theater elsewhere.
What a shame. It's a great little space and they put a lot of sweat equity in to it. I have every confidence they'll find another place, but it was so conveniently located and, ironically, poised to take advantage of a nearby light rail stop.
I am a huge booster of light rail, but this is its downside: landlords get visions of big, big bucks and treat the small businesses in their buildings like s**t.
Hope the time between leaving the old space and moving into a new one is as short as possible. They're a terrific small theatre company.
I always thought that was an odd location for a theater; there is no other nightlife nearby. Unless you count Jimmy John's.
I hope the Gremlin's reputation opens some doors with landlords who might otherwise shy away from renting to a theater company.
Oh, and Mr. Pinkerton? How is this the fault of light rail? Business owners get visions of big bucks for a lot of reasons.