is to create a theatre that will draw people to Old Town Petersburg, engaging them with the arts, revitalizing the downtown area, and strengthening the Petersburg community.
At Sycamore Rouge, the audience will sit at tables or on couches, sipping drinks and eating snacks, experiencing a play, listening to live jazz, or watching an old film.
Before and after performances, low lamplight and soft music will create an environment encouraging long talks over a bottle of wine. Still inviting, this will be a rustic place, with well worn furniture and affordable drinks—the kind of place where it’s okay to stay for hours sipping coffee and reading a good book.
Old Town has a great deal to offer—with more and more coming all the time—but currently there is no place that offers a regular schedule of destination events. Once people are downtown, they love browsing the shops and dining in our terrific restaurants. But what brings them to the area? We need a destination venue.
Study after study in urban revitalization has shown that the arts play a vital role in bringing neglected downtown areas “back from the brink.” This is a fact known here in Petersburg. Petersburg’s own development plan calls for the creation of an “Entertainment District” along Old Street through the intersection of Sycamore. The much-discussed “Elkington Report” is heavily peppered with the words “arts,” “culture,” and “entertainment,” and plainly identifies the creation of an arts district as one of the key factors contributing to the viability of historic downtown Petersburg as a competitive market for tourism. Now is the time to take our own advice and create a venue to anchor this vital new district.