Theatre organization awaiting Zodiac’s response over possessions

by Life Editor Tyler Hargett

After not being allowed to retrieve their belongings from the Zodiac Theater, Community Theatre, Inc., owner of Shoals Theatre, is currently awaiting a response from the owners.

Steve Price, general manager of Shoals Theatre, said the possessions include chairs, tables, paint, lumber, filing cabinets, stage curtains, light fixtures and posters.

“The bottom line of the whole thing is that we want our stuff out of that building,” said Price.

The Zodiac Players, a community theatre group, began renting the building that would become the Zodiac Theater in 1972 as a place to put on productions.

In 2007, a children’s theatre group, the Gingerbread Players, sought to purchase the then-for-sale Shoals Theatre to use for their productions. The Zodiac Players decided to join with the Gingerbread Players and pool their resources to purchase the building, forming Community Theatre, Inc.

After this, the Zodiac was used primarily for small shows and rehearsals.

Price said he received a call in February that the Zodiac Theater had changed ownership. After this, the new owners began increasing the rent. A board meeting was held April 23, and the ruling was that Community Theatre, Inc. would no longer rent the building because of the larger price.

Price said he contacted the owners to ask if they would give them until May to move their belongings out of the building, but they told him that doing so would be a problem.

Price said the next day, after senior Jeremy Smith, who had rented the Zodiac Theater for his ballet, returned the key, he found out that the locks on the building were being changed.

Price said the problem they are having is not about any worries of future competition from the Zodiac Theater.

“This is not about someone opening a theater that’s in some sort of competition with us,” he said. “I don’t think an area can have too much culture. We just want our stuff back.”

Community Theatre, Inc. has not yet moved forward with any legal matters.