Ocean State Theatre sued for back rent

by CRYSTAL BUI, NBC 10 NEWS

The Ocean State Theatre Company in Warwick has suddenly closed its doors, citing “ongoing financial struggles” as the reason. (WJAR)

Ocean State Theatre Company owes about $900,000 in rent for the building it occupies on Jefferson Boulevard in Warwick, according to court documents obtained by NBC 10 News.

The theater announced in a news release Tuesday night that it was shutting down immediately because of financial problems.

According to a lawsuit filed in Kent County District Court, Mutual Properties 1245 Jefferson LLC is suing Ocean State Theatre Company for “possession, back rent and additional rent in the sum of $860,908.58 and damages for use and occupation of the premises.”

But what’s making parents angry about the suddenly closure is feeling as though they were left in the dark.

“(I’m) hurt for my daughter. She was really looking forward to going to camp this year,” said Heather Rodrigues. “And this was going to be her first time being on the stage at summer camp and doing a summer performance. And now she’s heartbroken.”

Rodrigues would have paid another $400 on Thursday for a summer camp that’s no longer happening.

“Nobody notified us to not send anything in,” said Rodrigues.

Krissy Barry shared similar sentiments, noting that she filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office.

She said her 8-year-old son, Kaden, was looking forward to camp.

“He’s pretty bummed,” Barry said.

Some patrons even signed up for the Warwick theater’s summer camp classes less than a month ago. They are now just hearing that summer camp session is over.

Others were still buying season passes up until the end.

“I would have thought they would have known and seen this coming a little bit sooner than just closing the door and saying, ‘Sorry we’re closed,’” said Rodrigues.

The non-profit theater said debt is partially to blame, leading to the ultimate shut-down.

“Who knows, fundraisers could have been done,”…

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