Red House Entertainment will become the new operator of the Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill if things go according to plan.
Peekskill officials authorized acting City Manager Brian Havranek Monday to begin negotiations with Red House Entertainment to lease and manage the theater, which is owned by the city.
“I’d like to get this ready by the first voting session in April to approve,” Havranek said Monday night.
Red House Entertainment is one of three groups that answered a request for proposal from the city for the theater, which closed in October after the former operating board failed to reach fundraising goals.
Red House, which is headed by Garrison resident Kurt Heitmann. His team includes Abigail Adams, who currently runs the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival; Jonathan Close, who will be in charge of brand extension and marketing; and Ray Wilson, who will handle artist development and management, concert production and talent booking.
During a public presentation that was made to the Common Council last month, Heitmann said his group planned to anchor live music events at the Paramount on Fridays and Saturdays and use the downtown area to help draw people from all over the Hudson Valley.
He also wants to partner with neighboring businesses to hold indoor and outdoor festivals; host high definition simulcasts from events held around the world, movie nights and children’s camps to help keep the theater open year-round.
Heitmann also said Red House would need the city to cover the first six months of rent to get the group off its feet and he expects that the group will lose money after the first year. A percentage of box office revenue would be paid to the city in lieu of a traditional rent for the first few years.
Red House will also work out an arrangement to honor the tickets of people whose shows were cancelled after the Paramount closed.
“We’re very excited about this,” Foster said. “There’s a lot of work ahead for our Corporation Counsel and our City Manager in hammering out the details of the lease because it does need to reflect the investments that will be made on the part of Red House, but also the expectations of the City Council as we put forth in the RFP.”