When Nick Storie bought the Bobwhite Theatre in 2011, the neighborhood rejoiced. And for good reason—the thought of second-run movies, a la the Academy Theater or Laurelhurst, or regular concerts was almost too much to handle. Granted, not everyone wanted movies—though, it was the prevailing hope—the potential was appreciated by all. Even Nick Storie himself proclaimed the space to be for the community’s benefit. Whatever we wanted it to be, he said.
In the end, the theatre itself became the biggest obstacle to seeing a fully functional venue for movies, theater, and/or live music. The cost to repair electrical wiring, HVAC and bring the space up to city building and fire code has almost been cost prohibitive. Combined with the fact that managing a theater and hosting events was not Mr. Storie’s forte, the theatre has yet to live up to its potential.
In the years since the Bobwhite re-opened, we’ve seen a variety of events hosted by several different organizers…all to varying degrees of success. Most recently, Pulsar Productions was managing the space and promoting/hosting EDM concerts. Their run with the theatre was short-lived, as they soon lost their lease due to safety concerns over drug use in the mostly underage crowds. (Ambulances were called to the theater multiple times for medical transport in Pulsar’s final weeks).
The end of Pulsar’s run at the Bobwhite has ushered in a new chapter in the life of the theatre. As of May 1, management of the Bobwhite was handed over to Nick Haas, who seems intent on restoring the space to its former glory. While speaking with Nick recently, a couple things became obvious. First and foremost, he has a sincere love and appreciation for the Bobwhite. As much as running the theatre will be about music, events, and ultimately business, it’s also part of a vision he has to make the theatre the best that it can be. Second, Nick is well aware of the reputation and negative perception the theatre, Nick Storie, and recent managers have built. Along with the the theatre, he wants to repair that.
Tomorrow we will be posting our Q & A with Nick so you can get a little more familiar with who’ll be running the place. In the meantime, feel free to read recent profiles on Pulsar Productions and Miles Thompson, both of whom have had ties to the theatre’s operation. The former was responsible for bringing the EDM community to the Bobwhite, but ultimately lost their lease due to a variety of safety concerns. The latter, too, has a vision for the Bobwhite and is currently involved with managing the sound system.