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March 17, 2009
Garbeau's granted new life

Garbeau's Dinner Theatre in Rancho Cordova has a new lease on life.

The landmark theater raised the $8,000 over the weekend that it needed to avoid closure, reports Mark Ferreira, Garbeau's CEO.

Not only was the monetary goal met, but Ferreira says Washington-based landlord Andy Lakha has relented on certain terms and will discuss renegotiating the lease on Wednesday with the company.

"The community response to our story was overwhelming," Ferreira says. He added the increased media coverage was a significant factor in keeping Garbeau's open.

"The landlord was not expecting us to be as big a story as we were -- neither were we for that matter," Ferreira says.

Theaters throughout the region also rallied behind Garbeau's efforts to stay open. "The fact that all the other theaters said they would support us by honoring our season passes was huge. It really helped us sell an enormous amount of the passes," he says.

Ferriera also instituted a Thursday night karaoke party as a fund-raising event. He now plans to continue this as a regular weekly feature.

"On the one hand we raised money. On the other hand, the amount of money we had to raise came down significantly," Ferreira says. "The conditions changed. Primarily finding someone to sign on for five years as a personal guarantee on our lease and having a future rent deposit were no longer required."

Ferreira says Lakha could see the company has positive momentum and, more importantly, a significant amount of cash was put toward the back rent. Moving forward, Ferreira wants to create more community partnerships for midweek usage of the venue and also expects to partner with a Folsom group that wants to use Garbeau's as a live music venue.

"We're looking more and more at either renting out the space or finding groups we can team up with for some type of production which helps everybody."

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