Snafu. That’s the best way to describe what came between Nick Haas and his goal to buy The Bob White Theatre. It’s what came of a business deal that saw a private financier back away at the last minute.
At this time last week, escrow was near closing and a “changing of the guard” party was being planned for Friday. There may have been a party, but ownership is still solidly under Nick Storie’s name—not Haas’s. But if the younger Nick has a say, the latest snafu won’t deter him. And as such, he’s continuing to grind—and grind some more—until hope and perseverance (and maybe sheer will) call him owner of The Bob White.
He almost got the title last week, but a business partner backed out of the deal. Now financing again becomes the biggest hurdle.
Call us suckers for an underdog. Or maybe we’re just infected by the amount of passion, sense of history, and vision Haas exudes. And for selfish reasons, we’d also like to think this purgatory-esque chapter of the theater is almost over. (We want a theater, dammit!)
In the end, we don’t know what will come of The Bob White and/or Nick Haas’s attempts to buy it. But we do know this: he’s still fighting. And it appears as if KATU News has heard and will be making a story out of it. Nick Haas has invited the community to show up to the theater tomorrow (Tuesday) night to support the story, as well as to celebrate 91 years since the theater first opened. Tuesday’s event is a free, all-ages affair and will bring movies back for a night. There will be a double feature—Raiders of the Lost Ark and Big Trouble in Little China—starting at 7 pm. Free popcorn for all in attendance; donations go toward purchase and renovation.
Even if you don’t buy into the narrative, a free movie’s a free movie, and I think Nick Haas is trying to give the community what they want. And one point he tries to make clear, he wants The Bob White to be a community venue.
Here is a copy of Haas and The Bob White’s Business Values:
The Bob White Theatre Business Values
We believe our first responsibility is to the community of Portland and to all visitors of our city. Everything we do must be of the highest quality to aid us in constantly striving to reduce our costs in order to maintain reasonable prices. Customers and performers must be given a one of a kind experience the moment they walk through our doors and leave with memories to last a lifetime.
We must respect and recognize the merit of our employees. They must have a sense of job security, compensation must be fair and adequate and the working environment must be friendly, clean, orderly and safe. They must feel free to give feedback and there must be equal opportunity for employment. We must provide competent management in all areas from booking, accounting, programming, marketing, etc., and their actions must be ethical for the benefit of the community and for the bigger picture of creating memories for generations to come. Word of mouth is still a great and inexpensive advertising platform.
We are responsible to the community where we live and work, as well as, to the world community. We must be good citizens, support good works and charities and bear our fair share of taxes. We must encourage civic improvements and a better Portland. We must maintain in good order the property we are privileged to own while protecting the environment and the natural resources around us.
Our final responsibility is to our investors. Business must make a sound profit. We must experiment with new ideas. Research must be continuous, and mistakes must be resolved. New equipment must be purchased. A restored, one of a kind facility must be provided. Reserves must be set aside to provide for during adverse times, but we believe 100% in our ability to deliver on all fronts. When we operate according to these values, the investor should realize a fair return.