Pandemic impacts longtime Oakhurst theater

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An iconic Oakhurst theater struggling to survive during this pandemic is asking the community to help them keep it alive.

It should be the busiest time of the year for Golden Chain Theatre in Oakhurst, but it's empty inside due to the pandemic.

"We have successfully operated on what we earned through ticket sales. So in the season like this, we've lost more than half of the season. It's put us in a difficult position financially," said Michael Van Buren, Golden Chain Theatre Board President.

Board Members say their savings have dwindled. They've started a campaign to encourage others to become the link and help the Golden Chain Theatre.

"We're asking them to become monthly donors and help support us not only through this difficult time, but put in the time will need to recover," Van Buren said.

Right now, past performances have been played out on the Golden Chain Theatre's Facebook page to showcase their work and entertainment.

"It's this whole living breathing experience that you can't get anywhere else. You get to connect with the audience, as well as your cast, in a place where you can drop any troubles at the door and be able to express yourself and your passion in a way you can't do anywhere else," said Miranda Simonich, Golden Chain Theatre Board Vice President.

Simonich and her three kids have been involved in acting and in workshops, which provides a unique space for those in the mountains.

"Having no income, no ticket sales, things of that nature, we really need the support of the community and public at large to be able to make sure that there is still a theater to come back to when we're able to," Simonich said.

The 54-year-old theater was started by the community and they're hoping the community today will pledge to help.

You can learn more about their online performances and how to be a link in the Golden Chain Theatre here.
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