Save The Park
Overview of Park Theatre Improvements and Ongoing Campaign
How We Got Here
Since 2001, the Park Theatre Foundation has managed and programmed this important community venue, delivering hundreds of concerts, performances and special events. Through a partnership with Cusack Music, we have a superior sound system that wows both performer and listener. The modest budget has necessitated a heavy reliance on volunteers and supporters believing in the potential that resides within the walls of the facility. Despite its tired, well-used interior, the Park Theatre has established a presence in the community and reputation among the community’s younger generation as a welcoming and trendy venue with a mission of providing a wide variety of music and entertainment.
Location, location, location…
The Park Theatre remains one of downtown Holland’s understated and underdeveloped buildings, yet its location has substantial advantages. It is located in both the city’s Downtown Development Area (DDA) and the Principal Shopping District (PSD). It is located directly across from the city’s most historic and heralded public park. The block to the south contains Holland’s refurbished and historic city hall. The block to the northeast contains the post WWI-era post office repurposed to house the community’s museum and Holland Historic Trust. The building adjacent to the Park Theatre to the north has been completely refurbished and visually enhanced. Anticipating development and a renovated Park Theatre, the city incorporated a wider sidewalk and snowmelt to accommodate greater pedestrian activity into the last River Avenue street upgrade.
(Click the graphic to advance slide)
No More Duct Tape, No More Band-Aids, The Time is NOW
First and foremost, the Park is a music and entertainment venue. It can accommodate up to 300 patrons in a variety of seating and performance configurations. Its location in downtown Holland and proximity to a host of civic and cultural amenities make it the perfect complement to current community programming, and promises exciting potential for a slate of new music and entertainment options.
Over the last five years, the Park has enjoyed considerable growth in visibility, attendance and receipts. Total revenue for the 2012-2013 fiscal year was in excess of $100,000 – more than double the total for the 2007- 2008 fiscal year. Modest, but impressive if you consider the vast majority of rentals and events are self-booked.
A Sampling of Our “Regulars”
- Women Who Care
- Winning at Home
- City of Holland Youth Advisory Committee
- Community Energy Task Force
- Holland Board of Public Works Sustainability Task Force
- Center for Women in Transition
- Harbor Shores Humane Society
- Vagina Monologues
- Tulip Time
- Girlfriends Weekend
- Local First
- Calvary Baptist
- Holland is Ready
- Hope is Ready
- Junior Welfare League
- Weddings (8 to 10 a year)
- Hope College
- Reunions through the College Advancement Office
- Fraternity/Sorority events
- Hope Summer Repertory Theatre (HSRT)
- Black River School
- Annual Prom
- Rock Opera
- Student events
- Holland Public Schools/West Ottawa Public Schools
- Class Reunions
Let’s keep it simple. Can the Park Theatre significantly improve its current, sustainable operating budget more with a paid-off mortgage, a new welcoming foyer, new bathrooms, a professional bar and catering kitchen, a flexible stage with all the trimmings, a fashion redo, and some genuine, creative, outside the box marketing…we think so.
Imagine a revamped Park Theatre with professional staffing and marketing capability?
Envision the possibilities…or likelihood of:
- Independent film and documentary series on a wide range of topics
- Dinner theatre/movies
- Higher-end entertainment
- Partnerships with the existing food and beverage establishments downtown
- Collaborations with other downtown arts/cultural non-profits
Don’t we already have space for these sorts of events? The answer is no.
Nowhere in downtown Holland can you find a venue with history, dinner seating, cabaret seating, theater seating or no seating at all, an acoustically designed music and entertainment venue, and, by the way, a class C liquor license.
For the Park to become the place for cool, hip and trendy entertainment in downtown Holland.* Every cool city needs one…
- The removal of the existing bathrooms and entry walls. The current entry and bathrooms were rather cheaply designed and installed to facilitate a teen nightclub in the 1980’s. The construction of new, updated restrooms relocated into new space made available by enclosing the open alley immediately to the south will improve patron flow and convenience.
- The creation of a foyer, a welcoming pre-function gathering space. An attractive vestibule visible to both the entering patron and the passerby on River will enhance the appearance of the front of the Park. Energy efficiency, patron comfort, and noise reduction will all be enhanced. Once in, a new, inviting reception and pre-function space will be available to accommodate a wide-range of programming options…perhaps a wine and cheese reception prior to a guest speaker, concert, or documentary.
- A new, professionally designed bar. Not that the current one doesn’t work…but it could work a whole lot better, and be attractive at the same time. A professionally designed and well-equipped serving area will be an important element in the Parks functionality. Having the option of serving beer, wine, and alcohol when appropriate and desired for specific events is a major differentiator to other downtown Holland venues.
- A new, professionally designed catering kitchen. The Park has no desire to cook food. But it has a well-documented need to partner with local restaurants and caterers to not only serve food, but to offer a wide variety of options…from pizza on jazz night to a filet prior to a movie screening. The relationships to make this happen are already in place, the Park just needs the ability to accommodate them. Making it easy for caterers to arrive, serve, clean up and leave effectively and efficiently is incorporated into the new design.
- An upgraded stage and back of house. The current stage and back of the house work, but they could work a whole lot better. There is a long list of activities and events that the Park could accommodate with just a little more space and a few upgrades. A green room and restroom facilities for the performers in the back of the house are examples. These modifications are not “nice to haves.” These are well-documented needs that have emerged while hosting hundreds of events and concerts over the last five successful years. The list of opportunities lost is long because of these shortcomings.
- A thoughtfully redone interior and balcony, floor to ceiling and wall to wall. Not fancy, but well designed with new sound and lighting for any occasion. Improvements include new HVAC systems, great acoustics and a flair for the building’s roots in Art Deco. Strong consideration is being given to seating and event flexibility. The Park will accommodate three hundred patrons in a theatre-style set-up or 230 for cabaret-style and dinner theatre type event.
- A new brick exterior. The front of the Park was given a significant upgrade in 2006 with the help of a Cool Cities grant from the State of Michigan. A new brick enclosure for the rest of the facility will significantly improve energy efficiency and its appearance to the community and patrons.