Tally Ho May Continue as Performing Arts Venue
Building owner says he hopes the space will continue to entertain Leesburg after a temporary close, a plan Operations Manager Dave Wright calls "bittersweet."
Though Tally Ho is scheduled to close as a first-run movie house Sept. 3, the building’s owner hopes the old downtown theater will continue to operate as a venue for the performing arts.
Operations Manager Dave Wright said he spoke with building owner Don Devine, on Thursday, who told him there are plans to reopen the theater as a destination for performing arts, second-run movies, kiddie matinees and other shows. There are no plans to turn the building into anything else, he said.
“Talking to him and seeing that that’s still something he’s planning to do is a good thing,” Wright said, adding that it made Wednesday’s announcement much easier to deal with.
Wright, who has operated the theater since 2008, said it’s no secret local competition is growing. But that’s not the reason for closure.
“Some people may think, ‘Oh, Cobb opened and put them out of business.’ That’s not really what happened,” Wright said. “Did we take a bit of a hit early on? Sure. People were testing it out. But the people that are loyal to us have always been.”
The real reason, Wright said, has to deal with the eventual conversion from 35MM film to digital projection, which is too costly for the Tally Ho.
“It just kind of made the decision for us,” Wright said.
Since the summer season is always a good time for the local theatre, Wright said they will continue to operate as normal movie house while incorporating a few special events such as a Rocky Horror Picture Show screening, Last Ham and Off the Cuff performances, independent films and music shows.
“I definitely am appreciative of the time we’ve had here. I always try to look at things positively and this has been a great experience,” Wright said, adding he will miss the families and loyal patrons who have visited the theater on a regular basis. “It’s always been my dream to run a venue like this. I’ve gotten a chance to do that and I think we did a pretty darn good job.”
For more about the upcoming closure and what moviegoers had to say about it, click here.
Jim Barnes contributed reporting to this article.