Pasadena Playhouse files Chapter 11

Organization seeking to reorganize

The other shoe has dropped at the Pasadena Playhouse, which closed its doors Feb. 7 after a short run of the musical “Camelot.”

The venerable theater, founded in 1917, has filed in Los Angeles a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

This winter, the playhouse found itself out of cash and faced with half a million dollars in bills to be paid immediately. There were also payments due on more than $1.5 million in bank loans and other debts that the theater has carried for well over a decade.

Sheldon Epps, who has been the playhouse’s artistic director since 1997, has said that the onerous debt load often made him feel like “I am paying alimony for a marriage that I was never in.”

Stephen Eich, the playhouse’s exec director, called the Chapter 11 filing “a necessary step in our strategy to reorganize the playhouse for the benefit of our creditors and the Pasadena community at large.”

A spokesman said that Eich would have a more detailed outline of the playhouse’s reorganization plan in the next few days.

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