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Bay Street movie theater closing

Patrons buy their tickets to see a show at the Historic Orchard Theater -- which has announced it will be closing this week. - File photo
Patrons buy their tickets to see a show at the Historic Orchard Theater -- which has announced it will be closing this week.
— image credit: File photo

Far Away Entertainment, a Bainbridge Island-based theater management group, has announced its Historic Orchard Theater, on Bay Street in Port Orchard, will close on Dec. 30.

The small, two-screen art house was renovated and reopened three years ago in the central downtown district.

It had initially served as Port Orchard’s only theater until a multi-plex theater was built years ago a short distance away.

According to Jeff Brein, managing partner for Far Away, the theater has not met the revenue goals that were initially established to enable the facility to stand on its own.

“With a major first-run, multi-screen theater nearby, we felt that a more adult-oriented independent and art film concept was worth trying,” he said. “It’s been difficult to attract this audience segment on a consistent basis, especially in the evening hours.”

As in all of its theaters, Far Away hosted numerous community and non-profit events in Port Orchard for local charities and civic organizations.

“We’ve never felt unwelcome or unwanted by the community and still feel there is a need for a smaller quality film venue in town,” Brien said, “especially as the downtown core develops and grows in the years ahead. Perhaps our concept was just a bit premature for its time.”

While the facility will close at year-end, Brein and his team are still interested in exploring concepts for reopening or selling the theater if financially viable.

“In this day and age,” he said, “the operation of small movie houses is a challenging business but with the right concept they can succeed and even generate a small profit.”

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