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Rehoboth's Clear Space Theatre Company will stay in current location.

Clear Space Theatre Company.jpg

Clear Space Theatre Company in Rehoboth Beach will not be moving to a new home on Rehoboth Avenue.

In October 2018, Clear Space told City leaders they wanted to purchase land on Rehoboth Avenue to expand.

“For a number of years we’ve known that we were outgrowing the space we are currently leasing on Baltimore Avenue," said Wesley Paulson, executive director at Clear Space. "After a search for some locations in 2019, we settled on building a new theater in downtown Rehoboth on three lots at Rehoboth Avenue near the Circle.”

Paulson says they then went through a rather lengthy zoning process and their site plan was finally approved by the planning commission in 2021.

"Then a group of citizens appealed (they were concerned about traffic, parking and noise) the planning commission’s decision to the City commissioners and the City commissioners overturned the planning commissions’ decision,” Paulson said.

Paulson says Clear Space filed a lawsuit after that in Superior Court, claiming what the City did and the basis for its judgment were wrong.

He notes that after the lawsuit was filed, the theater’s board began looking at the cost of the legal case and decided that they probably wouldn’t be successful in constructing a new building even if they prevailed in court.

Paulson says the Board officially announced its plans to abandon the project during a July 25, 2022 meeting and Clear Space will now continue to operate at its current location for the foreseeable future.

“I want to emphasize to all of our patrons and people who have been to shows at Clear Space that we’re not closing and we’re not giving up, in terms of maintaining our successful operation," said Paulson.

He says this summer at the theater has been very successful with three shows in rotation - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Nine to Five, and the musical and the classic - Grease; tickets are still available for all the shows.

Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.