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Calumet Theatre Co. responds to rumors

Photo courtesy of Gogebic Community College Calumet Theatre Company Board President Dan Jamison responded Friday to a story that first appeared at uppermichiganssource.com about the Theatre’s cancellation of the Joe Nichols concert.

CALUMET — Rumors began circulating this week that a contributing factor to the cancelation of the Nov. 5 Joe Nichols concert at the Calumet Theatre is the structure of the theater building is failing.

TV6 News stated on Oct. 13 that that news outlet was sent pictures suggesting that a leak in the roof may be a contributing factor in the cancellation.

“Cited in several pictures, tarps are directing leaking water throughout the theatre into a trash can,” the report states.

Jacob Mihelich, a theater member and volunteer, responded to the allegations in the group Friends of the Calumet Theatre, on a popular social media platform.

“The theatre has had a leaky roof for many years; it is one of the many challenges with preserving a 121 year old building,” he stated. “The leaks are mostly present above the stage and theatre’s arch. In order to preserve the arch, there is a series of tarps that run above the arch and funnel water into trash cans, which are emptied.”

Calumet Theatre Company President Dan Jamison also addressed the leaks that are primarily above the proscenium arch and the stage.

Jamison said he used a PowerPoint presentation he created to communicate to his board, as well as the new village manager, that he walks through and inspects the building every couple of days, and more often during rainy periods.

“I went in on the (past) weekend with a garden hose, siphoned it all out,” he said. “And I’ll keep looking.”

In the meantime, he added, he will continue to do his job, and U.P. Engineers and Architects will continue to inspect and monitor the building to prioritize future projects.

These tarp systems and the trash cans are not visible from the auditorium, nor are they visible from the stage, Mihelich stated. Only a volunteer with special access or the staff would ever know they are there.

“They in no way, shape, or form, affect a theatre visitor’s experience — whether that visitor is in the audience or on stage,” he stated.

Jamison recently conducted an inspection of the theater building with engineers from U.P. Architects and Engineers, and issues found were noted, including the “leaking water throughout the theatre.”

“This is just regular weeping of the building,” he said, “and it had nothing to do with Joe Nichols.”

Michele Southerland, Calumet Theatre Company treasurer, said the concert cancellation was a matter of financial common sense and nothing more.

“Because the concerts right before and right after the one here in Calumet were also cancelled,” she stated, “it didn’t make economic sense for them to come here. We’re in a very remote, hard to get to place, and that has worked against us in this instance.”

Further, the cancellation does not rule out Nichols coming to the Calumet Theatre in the future, according to his booking company, which stated:

“We truly want to make it to Calumet, we will play Calumet as soon as we can make it up there, but right now we are just not able to make it there on November 5th. We are so sorry that we have to cancel this date.”

Southerland also addressed the rumor of the cancellation being related to the theater’s roof. While it is true that there are many leaks in the theater, it was not a factor in the decision to cancel the show, she said.

“We have had a couple of inspections done and are working on solutions to the problem,” she said in reference to the U.P. Architects and Engineers inspections. “Once we are able to implement them, we’ll be sure to announce what was done.”

The Calumet Theatre “is working not only to refund your tickets, but will go the extra mile to make it up to our customers,”. Jamison stated in a release. “We will refund all tickets sold for this event. We plan to have refund checks pre-printed as quickly as our bookkeeper can manage, for all ticket holders. We will announce when those will be available for either mail or pick up in our box office. We are committed to make that happen within the next two weeks.”

Jamison went on, saying: “The Calumet Theatre, as a thank-you to patrons who have been kind enough to wait for a very long time for this event, and in the spirit of “the show must go on,” will present a concert with our opening act, Chad Borgen and the Collective, as scheduled on Nov. 5. This event will be free to all previous ticket holders, who will receive tickets to this concert in addition to their full refunds.”

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