Final Show For Washington's Turnage Theater

The brightest landmark in downtown Washington will go dark after tonight

Courtesy: Turnage Theater

A local theater is going out with a "big band" tonight. Tonight's the last night for the Turnage Theater in Washington.

The Turnage Theater Foundation says they simply don't have the money to keep the lights on anymore. Millions were spent to renovate the theater, which re-opened in 2007. They voted to close the venue in November when "it was determined that operations could not be sustained under the existing financial structure and with projected operating losses."

The theater owes $960,000 on its mortgage. The foundation says it will be evaluating all alternatives for reopening the theater, but it appears banks will assume ownership of the building.

If you want to be part of the last show at the Turnage, tickets are still available for tonight's finale. The Tar River Swing Band's "Big Band Christmas Concert" takes the stage at 7:30 p.m.

For ticket information on tonight's concert, click the link below.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Brooke Location: Washington on Dec 18, 2011 at 09:01 AM
    The Turnage will never have enough revenue coming in if it always holds shows and events not appealing to the community. Maybe if they stopped trying to please others to come INTO town, the people who actually LIVE in town would support it. And it wouldn't hurt for the people who worked at the Turnage to be a little less uptight and snooty.
  • by Curtain Call on Dec 16, 2011 at 11:13 PM
    If they had offered entertainment for the whole family and stop having so many pseudo black tie affairs, it would pay for itself. Misappropriation of funds might be looked into in this mess as well. They spent monies paid in advance for 2012 shows and cannot or will not refund the money. I'm sorry it is closing, it could have been made into a great place for all of us.
    • reply
      by Dennis on Dec 17, 2011 at 06:45 AM in reply to Curtain Call
      If you had attended last night's performance of the Tar River Swing Band, you would have seen family entertainment at its best. People from 8 to 80 enjoying swinging Christmas music presented by a really great band. The only "black ties" were on the stage worn by the band. Thanks to the Turnage for having us play last night, we had a wonderful time performing for you!
  • by doc on Dec 16, 2011 at 03:32 PM
    good riddance the turnage dont need a taxpayer bailout let the rich people that love it pay for keeping it open
  • by Dawg on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:42 AM
    If it was such a good idea why did they have to take taxpayer money in the first place. Seems private investors would be lining up to invest if it was such a good idea.
  • by John Bob Location: Belhaven on Dec 16, 2011 at 09:38 AM
    Bring back Whichard Beach. That was the best cultural attraction that ever existed in Beaufort County. Always attracted high class entertainment that provided excitement for the young and old.
    • reply
      by Josephus Jr on Dec 17, 2011 at 10:37 AM in reply to John Bob
      Yes ,All the river rats loved Whichards Beach. It was a great place to get drunk & Get loud. Washington is just a creepy -Run Down Looking looking town.Never has developed & Never will.Full of River Rats & Thugs also.
  • by Dave Location: Washington on Dec 16, 2011 at 07:50 AM
    Why burden all of the tax payers, for something that is not wanted by the majority? If I wanted to go to a concert, I would have. I don't go to concerts, or plays in Raleigh. My point is to let the market decide what to have in Washington, isn't that the point of free enterprise? If there is a need, let the private sector have the opportunity to provide it. If we have to depend on the government to provide, "culture" then why not let them provide everything else, theme parks, tv stations, food, everything. The reason that doesn't happen is, the government isn't here to provide for our every whim. If there is a niche where someone can provide something to the public, and make a profit, then they will, otherwise its a business failure. Even if the taxpayers had to help start it, they had nearly 5 years to become self sustaining. They didn't make it. No business in the world would go through 5 years of losses. Close it, and let someone else try to run it, for a profit, and keep the taxpayers out of it.
  • by Samuel Location: ENC on Dec 16, 2011 at 07:25 AM
    Nice try to the Turnage fans, but you were too dependent upon soft money. That's why you never saw a private investor come in and buy/restore this property. There's not enough revenue for such an investment. The county/city should have never gotten in so deep. Just as my friends in Roanoke Rapids.
  • by Dick on Dec 16, 2011 at 06:03 AM
    Bah, humbug! to the last posts!!! The Turnage was a great idea, even with taxpayer monies. What would happen if we made an all-out effort to retire the Turnage debt, like churches do to retire their mortgages? And how would this affect ticket prices? Would they be able to lower the price so that ALL citizens of Washington and Beaufort County could afford to attend at least one concert, once in a while?
    • reply
      by Vince on Dec 16, 2011 at 07:52 AM in reply to Dick
      Dick, what part of "can't sustain itself" don't you understand. Of course this venture was never a good idea. Almost anyone with a business sense could have predicted the Turnage could not recoup the millions that was spent on it and remain profitable for the long term. Now let's let private enterprise try to make a go of it. If it can't be successful that way, then we obviously don't need the theater in this town.
  • by Turnage on Dec 16, 2011 at 05:56 AM
    We need a place where young people can put on rap shows, this place would be a great location.
  • by Bubba on Dec 16, 2011 at 05:51 AM
    Why not tear it out and put in a Walmart Express. It seems Washington don't need no culture anyways.
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