COVID-19, Mother Nature force curtains to temporarily close at historic Oklahoma theatre


Correction: The original headline omitted the word temporarily.

GUTHRIE, Okla. (KFOR) – After a year-and-a-half of enduring the pandemic, a beloved part of downtown Guthrie has faced another setback. 

The historic Pollard Theatre was welcoming guests once again when Mother Nature stopped them in their tracks.  

“It’s the essence and nature of live performance to have to jump over hurdles and put out fires but sometimes the hurdles are just a little high,” said Jared Blount, Artistic Director.

The Pollard Theatre sat quiet and empty for the better part of 2020 into the start of 2021.

When things started to look up, so did the cast and crew, returning to the over 100-year-old Guthrie icon.

“We kicked off with a benefit concert and then it kind of felt like we were off to the races,” said Kara Luther-Chapman, the theatre’s Executive Director. 

“Everything seemed to be going well,” Blount said. “We were in rehearsals. Everyone was excited, our audiences were excited to be coming back.”

But there were problems.

“When we returned, we noticed some of our equipment was out, specifically our air conditioning units,” Blount said. “Upon inspection, they said, ‘Hey, it looks like one of your units was struck by lightning.’ Whoever said lightning can’t strike the same place twice has never been in the theatre, I guess.”

They were able to get temporary equipment to use for their first show but it wasn’t a permanent or viable solution for their next one.

“As far as timing goes and being able to get the lighting, it was just impossible,” said Luther-Chapman.

They’re borrowing some equipment to get through the season but that’s not a practical permanent solution.

They say it’s time to ensure The Pollard remains a bright light in this city.

“There was a time when Guthrie was a booming city and this was the hub of entertainment,” Luther-Chapman said. “People would line up here to come see all of the shows. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and make sure this infrastructure lasts for the next 20, 30, 100 years.”

The lighting and repairs are going to be very costly but there are ways you can donate to help this Guthrie staple.

The theatre company says they have more information on their website and social media.

Their hope is to return for their holiday program in November.

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