Jax Theatre Guild announces closure

By Ryne Turke on February 25, 2016 at 12:33pm

The Jacksonville Theatre Guild will no longer be entertaining West Central Illinoisians.

Board member Amy Jackson confirmed with WLDS/WEAI News this morning that the organization plans to close its doors after more than 30 years of business.

According to Jackson, the Jacksonville Theatre Guild and Board of Directors have been struggling to make ends meet for quite a while.

“Really since the closure of the Jacksonville Developmental Center, when we lost access to the Sophie Leschin building, we have not been able to keep up. Despite our best efforts, we feel like there is nothing more we can do.”

Jackson says even though times were tough, the theatre guild continued running monthly productions up until December 2015.

“Most of the plays were at our office location on West College. Even if we are able to sell out every show, which we weren’t, we still would have had a very difficult time making ends meet. It isn’t for lack of trying. We just weren’t generating the revenue we needed to stay afloat.”

Jackson says nearly everyone from the Jacksonville area was impacted in some way by the theatre guild.

“So many of us that have had experiences at the theater guild are very sad by the news. I grew up in Jacksonville and remembers as a child and young adult going to the Sophie Leschin theatre. That was a production because you were going to the theatre, getting dressed up and having fun. We don’t have the ability to continue that anymore and unfortunately the Jacksonville Theatre Guild is a casualty.”

Jackson says future productions have been shut off and the board is already exploring options for liquidating the Jacksonville Theatre Guild’s property.

Jackson says the Board of Directors will continue to support theatre options like Playhouse on the Square and productions from Illinois College and MacMurray College.