One Long Island City theatre is looking to raise enough money to help keep its doors open.
The difficulties came after the Department of Buildings found the landlord’s certificate of occupancy was out of date, which meant that Mazda had to pay DOB fines, hire architects to get correct permits in place and also move the site’s Little Theatre to an alternative spot in the 23rd Street building.
“We were under the threat of closing one space and just having the big theatre, or closing both spaces and literally calling it a day,” Mazda said. “No matter how hard we tried we couldn’t dig our way out just from our normal thin profit margin.”
Mazda continued to explain that the Secret Theatre breaks even with the money coming in from ticket sales, but to pay for the “unexpected costs” they now had to turn to the community to help cover some debts and also continue offering programs to the community.
The Secret Theatre opened in 2007 and has since produced weekly children’s theatre shows, held classes for students, provided coaching services, and produced in-house and co-produced productions.
“I am comfortable that we will raise a good amount of money,” Mazda said. “I am very moved by the support we are receiving so far and I look forward to being able to thank more people.”
Along with raising the money to pay for expenses, Mazda also said he hopes to bring change to the Secret Theatre and turn it into a nonprofit organization.
The Indiegogo campaign has a goal of $10,000 and will run until Sept. 4.
“At this point in time I don’t think we will close. We are still in trouble, but the reaction from people has been incredible,” Mazda said.