Vinegar Hill: R.I.P. after Festival

The end of this year's Film Fest also marks the end of the Vinegar Hill Theatre.

After 32 years, the lights are going down on Vinegar Hill Theatre for good.

"I knew this was coming, I just didn't know when," says theater manager Hain Laramore, who started working for the theater as a teenager 20 years ago. The last evening show will happen this coming Thursday with the scheduled screenings of Religulous, and while the doors will stay open through the weekend for film fest activities, after Sunday the lights won't go back up.

Laramore says thinning crowds made keeping the theater afloat harder and harder for owner Ann Porotti, who opened Vinegar Hill with her then-husband, Chief Gordon, in 1976 (the same year the couple opened Fellini's restaurant on Second and Market streets.)

"Our last real hit was the Al Gore film," Laramore says, referring to the 2006 environmental disaster documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Laramore says Porotti, who was not immediately available for comment, was increasingly financing the theater herself, and "finally decided to shut it down."

There are currently no plans for the space, and Laramore says he remains hopeful that the theater will someday, somehow reopen. In the meantime, however, he echoes a sentiment sure to be heard around town as soon as the news spreads: "What a bummer."


it's a shame, wish I had gone more often now

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