Camelot to build new theater

A new $2.8 million Camelot Theatre could begin presenting plays in the early summer of 2011 next to the theater company's present site in downtown Talent.

Under terms of an agreement reached by Camelot and the Talent Urban Renewal Agency, the agency would buy the present theater and land and lease it back to Camelot until 2011, when the company would move to its new building.

The urban renewal agency would also buy the land just to the north of the present theater and lease it back to Camelot, which would build the new theater on the site.

Ted Gibbs, the head of Camelot's board, said the agreement enables Talent to have the road envisioned in a master plan and Camelot to occupy a highly visible downtown corner. Ground could be broken by the middle of next year, he said.

The city of Talent approved the roadway plan in December of 2006, and uban-renewal agency Executive Director Marla Cates says the deal does not require further approval by the city.

The new, wheelchair-accessible theater would ultimately have about 164 seats, almost two-thirds more than the present building. Drawings show a large, village-like structure with three signature cupolas. The building could be completed in two phases, although Gibbs said doing it all at once would be preferable.

Under the deal, the agency would pay Camelot $543,000 for its present real estate. The agency would then lease it back to Camelot for $2,500 a year until demolition begins June 1, 2011. The agency would then lease the new land back to the theater company for $1 a year for 10 years, and Camelot would agree to operate it as a theater.

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