ELMFORD, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — A famous Westchester theater is permanently closing due to the pandemic.
After 47 years of operation, the Westchester Broadway Theatre – where audiences could enjoy dinner and a show without schlepping into Manhattan – announced it will not be reopening.
Co-founders Bob Funking and Bill Stutler announced the news in a letter to staff.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the permanent closing of the Westchester Broadway Theatre,” they wrote. “We cannot be a profitable business while being closed and it looks dim for any live theatre to be open for the foreseeable future.”
Greenburg Town Supervisor Paul Feiner was saddened to hear about the Elmsford theater’s closure, saying it was a “sad day.”
“My uncle lived up to 100 and up to the last month of his life, I would always take him to Broadway Theatre and he felt it was a highlight of his last years,” he said. “There's so many senior citizens who really look forward to the shows. There's a lot of young people who look forward to the shows. They were high quality. The owners of the theater treated their employees really terrifically. It's very, very sad.”
The co-founders say the interior is “to be destroyed” and the building will be turned into a warehouse.
They said the closure was due to the fact that dinner-theater has “unique social-distancing problems” and would likely be among the last industries to reopen after the pandemic.
It was particularly saddening news for “Chicago” director Rob Marshall and “Oklahoma!” choreographer Susan Stroman, who both began their careers at the theater.