The Larcom Theatre, Beverly’s restored 1912 Vaudeville theatre, launches their first crowdfunding campaign to bring space and visibility to the North Shore’s hidden gem. The campaign aims to raise capital to help expand the lobby and install a marquee-style sign to let folks discover the historical theatre from the main street.
The Arts community was one of the hardest financially impacted during the pandemic: They were the first industry to shut down and last to open. The Larcom Theatre, a music and performing arts venue located in the Arts District of Downtown Beverly, was no exception. After 18 months of being closed with ongoing theatre bills and no source of income, this husband-and-wife family run theatre relied on their second careers for capital to pay the bills and keep their doors open, leaving no money to use towards improvements.
“Like many others, the pandemic for us represents much loss. We lost loved ones and almost lost our business.” shares Don Crowell, owner and CEO of the Larcom Theatre. “Because we work with contractors and did not have employees, we did not qualify for most of the government grant programs. It was and still is a frustrating and stressful time. As a small business owner, you do everything you can to pull through. We are grateful to have reopened our doors to artists and the community and hope we can continue to stay open.”
“The silver lining during the pandemic is that we gained more quality time with our two boys, ages three and six. A year and a half in isolation taught us that family, friends, community, and your health matter above all else,” shares Lisa Crowell, owner and head of marketing at the Larcom Theatre. “Many recognize the special place that live art, music, dance, and entertainment plays in our lives and mental health. Whether to escape the daily grind, celebrate one another, and be inspired, music and the arts are food for the soul! We are eager to make improvements and serve our community with quality and affordable live entertainment in a unique, historical space.”
The Larcom Theatre is named for Beverly’s beloved nineteenth-century poet, author, and woman’s advocate Lucy Larcom whose birthplace once stood at the same address. Originally constructed as a Vaudeville theatre, the 600 capacity Larcom Theatre enjoyed more than 100 years as host to a true variety of events: from music, dance, acrobats to adult films and the Guinness Book of World Records longest consecutively running stage magic show in the world, Le Grand David and His Spectacular Magic Company.
The pandemic emphasized the need for more visible signage and larger lobby space for patron and employee safety. The Larcom Theatre’s Be Seen and Make Room campaign will help defray the cost of a two-part improvement project:
1. Lobby Expansion
The Larcom has a 600-capacity theatre but a tiny lobby. Enlarging the entrance will add comfort and safety for visitors and staff members. The plan is to move the bar out of the lobby, doubling the size of the entry and expanding the size of the bar to accommodate kitchen equipment enabling the Larcom Theatre to serve healthier options for snacks and small bites.
2. Outdoor Signage
The gorgeous Larcom Theatre is tucked away on a side street and not visible to traffic nearby on busy Cabot Street. The original architecture of the Larcom Theatre boasted a beautiful outside marquee. The plan is to reinstate that visibility with digital signage and have a marquee.
Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) will award a matching grant to create additional lobby space and install marquee-style signage only if the Larcom Theatre meets or surpasses their goal.
To learn more about the campaign and become part of the community bringing space and visibility to the Larcom Theatre, visit patronicity.com/larcomtheatre. Rewards are offered based on giving level, including free tickets, dinner, a VIP event, vintage posters, Larcom Theatre chair, and day use of the theatre.
About Larcom Theatre
The Larcom Theatre is an intimate and charming live music and performing arts venue in Downtown Beverly. It is one of only approximately 250 active Vaudeville theatres in the country. Vaudeville performers and Marblehead natives, the Ware brothers, built the Larcom Theatre in 1912 eight years before building The Cabot Theatre, both in Beverly, Massachusetts. Tucked away on a side street, North Shore’s hidden gem with its retro décor, horseshoe balcony, tin ceilings, and Symphony-like acoustics will take you back in time. Family-owned and operated, the Larcom Theatre strives to stay true to its Vaudeville roots by presenting a variety of art forms, including music, theatre, dance, comedy, and film—and to celebrate local talent.