Arts of the Pamlico celebrates mortgage pay off on Turnage Theatre

Published: Jun. 4, 2018 at 5:33 AM EDT
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A local arts group is celebrating a huge milestone Thursday.

The Arts of the Pamlico expects to receive the deed to the Turnage Theatre from Crescom Bank during a mortgage payoff celebration.

The non-profit arts group made its final payment on the historic theater in downtown Washington earlier this month. The theater opened in 1913 and has changed hands and undergone extensive renovations in more recent years.

The non-profit purchased it in 2012 for $210,000.

The celebration is set to begin at noon at the Turnage Theatre.


An Eastern Carolina arts organization is starting the new week on a high note.

The Arts of the Pamlico made paid its final installment on the mortgage for the Turnage Theater this month.

Located in downtown Washington, the historic building has changed hands many times since opening more than a century ago in 1913. It was turned into a movie theater in 1938 and was an anchor for the town for more than 50 years before people started flocking to larger theaters.

Since that time, the theater has exchanged hands several times and undergone extensive renovations. The mortgage payoff means that the non-profit can focus its efforts on programming and sustainability efforts. The theater's upkeep is an expensive task -- the electric bill alone is more than $3,000 per month, according to Executive Director Debra Torrence.

The Beaufort Arts Council -- which is now known as 'Arts of the Pamlico' -- bought the theater in 2012 for $210,000. The money to pay for it has largely been raised through individual, private donations.

Board Chairperson Linda Lane said, "It makes us a much stronger organization, sustainable organization, we don't have that obligation that we have to pay; the history of this building by the way, is that it went into foreclosure just three years ago and we didn't want that to happen again."

A payoff celebration will be held Thursday at noon, when the Arts of the Pamlico board expects to get the deed to the property from Crescom Bank.

Part of the theater's effort to be sustainable involves hosting a wide variety of low-cost or free events. You can see the latest calendar