Nobody, but nobody was talking on the record yesterday, but the tea leaves I did manage to read turned out today to be on target: The Cultural Development Corporation will take over the Source Theatre's 14th Street space, preserving one of Washington, D.C.'s landmark theaters as a performing-arts venue.
The announcement came at a meeting this afternoon in the offices of Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, who helped broker the deal that saved the Source space.
Those of you who've been following the Source saga will remember that back in February, first rumors and then hard news emerged that the debt-plagued theater company had announced a plan to sell the building to Bedrock Management, which planned to convert it into a restaurant and billiards parlor. DC theaterfolk and neighborhood types were startled by the news, and many of 'em mobilized to oppose the deal at a lively ANC meeting in early March.
Things looked hopeful after a late-March meeting in Graham's office, which ended with all parties thinking that Bedrock might find a way to add on a couple of floors and make room for both its planned tavern and a nice little theater in a freshly rehabbed building.
That plan came apart, though, in June, when Source's board announced that feasibility studies made it clear that such an arrangment just couldn't be made to work in the space. But just when it looked like the sale would go through at last, Source and Bedrock agreed to one final extension of the real-estate closing--and invited potential white knights to submit their rescue proposals.
Cultural Development Corporation, which runs the Flashpoint arts-incubator program downtown, stepped up, and other interested parties--including the IN Series and the Actors Theatre of Washington--backed the CuDC's proposal.
And now Source has, too. Which means the CuDC has pledged to do what today's announcement reminds us are the necessaries: "retire the Source debt, assume the mortgage, renovate the building, and show a business plan that would insure sound fiscal operation of the building for the benefit of theater in Washington."
Exactly how those things are to be accomplished are unclear as yet. Tboy hasn't seen the details of the CuDC proposal, though it's not for lack of asking around.
He'll update you when he does know. Meanwhile, he's tentatively pleased about this outcome. It seems like a happier end than anybody expected when the story broke.