UPDATE: Beaufort County Arts Council Buying Turnage Theater

There are new plans for the old Turnage Theater in Washington. The theater had major renovations and reopened in 2007, only to close 4 years later due to financial problems.

Now the Beaufort County Arts Council is closing on a deal to buy the theater and make it a center for the arts. They say they've done the research and plan to raise funds from public and private donors as well as grants from the state to continue to operate.

Joey Toler, the council's executive director, says this is just the beginning for a new initiative to change the arts council.

"A new effort that will be different, hopefully very inclusive... that it will become the people's theater, that it will be all things cultural, not just downtown Washington but the entire area." said Toler.

The closing date on the theater is scheduled for the end of September. For now the council will not talk about how much it's paying for the theater, just that the banks are taking a financial hit to sell it.
Beaufort County Arts Council Executive Director Joey Toler tells WITN that the arts council has purchased the historic Turnage Theater in downtown Washington.

The theater is currently owned by Wells Fargo. Toler says the bank has accepted the BCAC's offer. He did not disclose those terms at this point.

Toler says the deal is expected to close at the end of the month, but he does not anticipate any problems that would derail the deal.

Toler also said this is an exciting time for the arts council, Beaufort and surrounding counties as the art's council gets set to move into the theater.

The theater was restored and reopened in 2007 but closed in December 2011 due to financial difficulties during the economic downturn.