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Public invited to discuss future of Calgary’s Grand Theatre

With a historic Calgary theatre facing possible closure, members of the city’s arts community have scheduled a meeting to discuss the path forward for the facility.

Earlier this month, the Grand Theatre on First Street S.W. celebrated its 112th birthday but organizers said the building’s future is in doubt.

Officials say the facility had been working on securing a deal with its new landlord, Allied Real Estate Investment Trust, but negotiations haven’t worked out.

With that in mind, the society is holding an open house meeting with community members, artists and other supporters of the Grand Theatre next month.

“Given recent concerns about our long-term financial sustainability, we seek to involve the community and will be sharing next steps and possible paths forward.,” the society wrote on its website.

The meeting will take place between 1 and 3 p.m. in the Flanagan Theatre on March 13.

It is free to attend and all concerned parties are welcome to join the society to share their thoughts.

The Grand Theatre, long considered to be Western Canada’s cultural hub, opened in 1912.

Over its lifetime it has hosted Fred Astaire, Paul Robeson, Groucho Marx and George Burns.

Both the Liberal and Conservative Parties held rallies at the theatre, as well as Nellie McClung, Prime Minister Robert Borden and Premier William Aberhart.

If a deal isn’t worked out soon, the Grand Theatre would close sometime in 2024, the society said.

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