Theater, like everything else, is all about location, location, location.
That is the case of Delray Square Performing Arts, a new non-Equity stage theater that opened on the site of a defunct cinema fourplex on West Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.
"In the last 23 years, 90 percent of everyone who ever bought a ticket from me lived in West Delray, West Boca and West Boynton," Gary Waldman explains. "And Delray Square Shopping Center [where the new theater is] is right in the epicenter of that."
Waldman and his producing partner, Jamison Troutman, inaugurated the theater last week with their production of "The Sounds of Simon," a Waldman-penned show that celebrates the music of Paul Simon. After a long run last summer at the Studio Theater of Mizner Park, they were looking for another stage for the musical.
"I live in the community, right next door," Waldman says. "I've lived here for 15 years. Anyway, this summer, I happened to be driving through [the shopping center] and realized there was no sign at the movie theater. These smaller movie theaters can't survive anymore and compete with iPic and Muvico."
They signed a lease in the fall. Previously, Waldman and Troutman ran Atlantis Playhouse in Boynton Beach, the 26th Street Theatre in Wilton Manors and the Drama Center in Deerfield Beach
"Opening a new building and a new show at the same time I don't wish on my worst enemy," Waldman says. "But we had a show with momentum, and we didn't have to pull a single permit to do anything. The design team we had at Mizner were great, and they came in ready to help out. And we were asking around: 'This one knows that one, and that one knows this one.' Down the road, we'd like to have better dressing rooms and things like that. We can do that in the summer, knock a few holes in walls. But the important thing is that I was able to get open during the height of season."
While a 2014-2015 season has not been announced for the four-auditorium venue, the plans call for a musical comedy-sketch show written by Waldman after "The Sounds of Simon" (which may have its run extended) and another big musical in the summer.
"The Sounds of Simon" will run through March 9 at Delray Square Performing Arts, 4809 W. Atlantic Blvd., in Delray Beach. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with 2 p.m. matinees Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets cost $35. Call 561-880-0319 or go to DelraySquareArts.com.Copyright © 2015, South Florida