FAIRFIELD, Conn. — The curtain could soon rise on a Saturday afternoon matinee at the long-vacant Fairfield Community Theatre, all thanks to the work of local activist Keith Rhodes.
Rhodes started a petition at Change.org last month, calling on the current owners, David Pollack and his family, to sell the property as soon as possible so it can return to its intended use.
And on Monday Rhodes announced a victory in his road to revive the theater: Pollack has agreed to sell the property .
David Gorbach, president of Colonial Realty and representative for David Pollack, "once again informed me late last week that that they are making final preparations for sale and that I could go ahead and make an announcement to the community and petitioners," Rhodes said at Change.org.
"I still do not have final timing, but I understand that it's only a matter of days or weeks before the listing is formalized and announced. It is my understanding that they will pursue sale through a request for proposal and sealed bid process," he said.
Rhodes said he is "delighted" with this announcement and thanked Pollack and the Pollack Family Trust for "their support in helping the community build a vision for the future of Fairfield — for our children, community and the local economy."
The Fairfield Community Theatre, which was built in 1920 and has been vacant since 2011, has fallen into disrepair. Once a vibrant community hub, the landmark theater has become an eyesore, said Rhodes, a member of the Fairfield Economic Development Commission.
His goal is to revive the once-pristine theater so it become a center for the performing arts for the town of Fairfield, said Rhodes, who is vice president of brand strategy and integrated communications at Quinnipiac University.
The building, which has seating for more than 700 people, began showing movies in 1929. The theater was run by Loews Cineplex from 1979 to 2001, when local developer Leo Redgate leased the theater and ran it as a nonprofit that featured second-run and specialty films.