Resurrecting the Royal Poinciana Playhouse

Resurrecting the Royal Poinciana Playhouse

Resurrecting the Royal Poinciana Playhouse as the new Palm Beach Performing Arts Center

On Tuesday, October 14th, Pamela Stark Thomas, CEO &  Chief Fundraiser for the Palm Beach Performing Arts Center (PBPAC), made a power point presentation to the Mayor and Town Council of Palm Beach. The presentation explained what we’ve been doing to resurrect the Royal Poinciana Playhouse.

Create a World-Class Performing Arts Center worthy of Palm Beach.
The Royal Poinciana Playhouse opened in 1958 as a celebrity theater. From 1980-2004 touring shows and rentals were the main stage productions. The theater has been DARK for 10 years weathering hurricanes and is much in need of roof repairs.It remains dark today.
The Sterling Organization invited RFPs to lease the Playhouse. According to the Sterling Organization, “The National Arts Institute, Inc. (NAI) was the only party to submit a complete, accurate and qualified application for the Playhouse lease.”
The National Arts Institute, Inc., doing business as the Palm Beach Performing Arts Center, signed a long-term lease on October 23, 2013. The goal is to re-open the Playhouse as the Palm Beach Performing Arts Center (PBPAC) for the 2017/18 Season.
PBPAC confirmed that the Playhouse will continue as a theater. This underscores compliance with the Town’s ’79 Agreement.
The Lease states, “Tenant’s use of the Theater Premises shall reflect a dedication on the part of Tenant to the highest standards of artistic excellence and to the widest possible service to the public, and Tenant’s founding members and donors, at the Theater Premises. Accordingly, the Theater Premises shall be used only for performances of high quality by Tenant and other outstanding Persons and organizations in their respective fields. In addition, the Theater Premises shall be used only for activities designed to sustain, encourage and promote the highest quality forms of artistic expression and the education of the public. Nothing in this Section, however, shall permit the use of the Theater Premises for any purpose other than the Permitted Use in accordance with, and subject to, the terms and conditions of the 79 Agreement and the terms and conditions of this Lease.”
The Lease Term is for 42 years with a fundraising goal of $10,000,000 by October, 2015.
The Business Plan has 6 Phases. The Team has progressed through Phase 1 and is preparing to launch Phase 2’s Capital Campaign. While working on the Capital Campaign, the Architects and Consultants will prepare drawings for the Design and Permitting process [Phase 3]. Once Design and Permitting are approved, Construction begins [Phase 4] together with Programming [Phase 5]. The Final Phase [6] is the Grand Opening with exciting gala events planned.
Projected Costs for Planning, Design, Construction and Programming:
$500,000 – $1 million
$30 – 40 million
$5 – 6.5 million
Design & Construction
Year 1 – Operational & Production
(The $6.5 Million covers Production Costs prior to Revenue Receipts.)
PBPAC is in Final Contract Negotiations with an Architect. Key criteria for the architect include:

* History of Significant Success with Performing Arts Centers
* Experienced with Florida’s Waterfront Locations
* Preservation of Landmarked Buildings

* Expertise in Kitchen | Dining Design

We are excited to announce with whom we are in final negotiations:


Scott C. Wilson, AIA, Director

Wilson Butler Architects (WBA)

Boston, Massachusetts
architecture for arts and entertainment

WBA Experience:

* Broward Center for the Performing Arts: Recent $56M expansion along the New River RiverWalk Theater, Events Pavilion, Arts Education Center, Cafe, Outdoor Terraces, Founder’s Room & More


* Performing Arts Centers: Belding Theater, Bushnell Center, Hartford, CT; Caldenwood Pavilion, Boston, MA; Towson Center for the Arts, Towson, MD


* Historic Preservation of Signature Theaters: Mortensen Theater, Bushnell Center, Hartford, CT; Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage, Richmond, VA; Akron Civic Theatrem Akron, OH; Wang Theatre, Citi Performing Arts Center, Boston, MA


* Other Clients of Distinction: Huntington Theatre Company, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Boston Ballet, Royal Caribbean, International, Celebrity Cruises


Governing Board:

* Kenneth Ohrstrom, Chairman of the Board
* Renee Morrison
* Nicholas Loeb
* Lynda Harris, Esq.
* Anthony Marino, CPA, PA
* Additional Board members are being recruited.

Executive Staff:

Pamela Stark Thomas – CEO and Chief Fundraiser
History of 25+ years of Fundraising Success
$600 Million and counting . . . CAREER GOAL: $1 Billion
Pamela also shared some organizational information. She is preparing the Capital Campaign Kick-Off. Major funding will be garnered through exciting Grand Naming & Legacy Opportunities and Founding VIP Memberships. Please contact her for further information at
Karen Poindexter
Karen Poindexter – Producing Artistic Director
Produced for Burt Reynolds Jupiter Theater over 100 musicals and plays with stars including Burt Reynolds, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kirstie Alley and Martin Sheen, to name a few. Karen has also produced on Broadway, London and for many Regional Theaters throughout the country.
The Presentation shared how the Program will be financially sustainable.
Annual Operational Budgets are conservatively projected with a
break-even at 65% capacity for a 5-show Subscription Season from November – April.
Potential Income derived from the 5-shows is $10,125,000.
The Performance Schedule for the 5-show Season will be a minimum of 3 weeks, with 8 performances per week.
The Performance Schedule runs Tuesday-Sunday Evenings, with matinees on Saturday and Sunday.
Additional Income is generated through Special Events, One-Night Performances, Sponsorships, Rentals, Founding Memberships, Subscription Memberships, Concessions, Educational Programming, Grants & Philanthropic Donations.
Palm Beach Daily News – 10/15/14:
“Overall, the council responded favorably to the presentation.”
“I’m encouraged,” Councilman Richard Kleid said.
“Several groups before have talked a lot, but they’ve never produced a program and an organization. I think you are on that path.”
We look forward to continuing to update you as we progress. As we all know, the key to opening the Playhouse in 2017 is Fundraising.

We look forward to your support!
Warmest regards,
2607Kenneth OhrstromFounding Chairman of the Board  2608Pamela Stark ThomasCEO