On Stage and Off

Theater in Georgia

Economic Developments and Lease Closures

During the 1970s and 1980s, competition for intown property increased, and Atlanta-based theaters faced unexpected lease closures. Along with financially motivated pressures to censor or downplay political materials, the sudden frequency of closures prompted a coalition of Atlanta-based theaters to tackle the subject of "theater homelessness." In 1987 the coalition met in response to the back-to-back closures of two major theater spaces in Atlanta, Nexus and The Performance Gallery, and the threatened closure of a third company, Theatrical Outfit. Each case was connected to real estate developers competing for space in the crowded city. To combat this challenge, theater companies got creative; members of the coalition suggested a makeshift time-share system so that groups suddenly without a physical theater space could continue to perform while they searched for a new location.