Photo courtesy Westchester Broadway Theatre
A devastating economic casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the iconic Elmsford theater has made its final curtain call after more than 45 years in business.
The Westchester Broadway Theatre of Elmsford has taken its final bow after entertaining for over 45 years. The longest running Equity Theatre in New York, it was hit hard during the pandemic and will permanently close following a shutdown of live theater.
The dinner theater produced over 200 musicals in its time and was a Westchester staple for musical theater fanatics for decades. Many Tony award-winners got their start by doing dinner theater at this memorable venue, which has entertained over six million customers through the years.
The founders, Bob Funking, Bill Stutler, and Von Ann Stutler, announced the news in a letter addressed to their audiences.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the permanent closing of the Westchester Broadway Theatre,” they say. “We cannot be a profitable business while being closed and it looks dim for any live theatre to be open for the foreseeable future.”
The decision stems from the delay of reopening indoor dining locations and entertainment spots such as theaters. According to social distancing rules and CDC guidelines, live theaters are categorized as some of the last places to reopen, being classified as high-risk indoor entertainment.
Another Equity Theatre still exists in Westchester — the White Plains Performing Arts Center in White Plains — and is currently being renovated with plans to eventually reopen. The White Plains Performing Arts Center is planning on offering vouchers and gift cards for Westchester Broadway Theatre ticket holders once it reopens.