According to owner and producing director Jake Liam McGuire, disagreements with landlords partially led to his decision to shutter the Spot’s location at 116 West Branch St. It shared a building with The Studio of Performing Arts and Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab’s corporate headquarters.
“It was just not the right space for us. That became more and more evident as time went on,” said McGuire, who would not go into detail about any disputes.
McGuire, an Arroyo Grande High School graduate, opened The Spot in February 2011.
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Although The Spot had its share of diehard supporters, the theater struggled to attract strong ticket sales, he said.
“As I looked at it from a business perspective, I started to feel like there wasn’t a big enough demand for the type of theater we want to present,” McGuire said, which he described as challenging plays that force audience members to step outside their comfort zones.
With the closing of the theater, he’s had to cancel two season shows. Tickets were refunded to the season subscribers who had purchased them.
McGuire has also been forced to find new homes for some of the theater’s bigger acquisitions, including decking and flats which he said went to Arroyo Grande High School and other local theater companies. He plans to rent storage space for seats, electrical lighting and sound equipment.
McGuire isn’t sure about The Spot’s next move. The theater may seek out a temporary rental setting, find a space to lease long-term, or ideally, purchase a permanent home, he said.
Also searching for a new space is Kelrik Productions, which said goodbye to its home of seven years, Unity of San Luis Obispo, in June 2013 after the church's board of directors decided that spring to sell the 13,000-square-foot building and the 69,696-square-foot lot on which it stands.