Cambria theater ordered to install fire sprinklers

A popular Cambria theater can finish the run of its current play, but must install a $32,000 fire-sprinkler system before staging another, fire safety officials have declared.

Cambria Fire Chief Mark Miller notified Pewter Plough Playhouse management Monday that he cannot extend the deadline past Feb. 28. Miller said that Art Trinidade, the county’s chief code-enforcement officer, and Francis “Sonny” Solich, California’s deputy state fire marshal, agree with the decision.

Work has been underway since 2006 to bring the playhouse at 824 Main St. up to code. But the sprinkler system has been on hold because it’s expensive.

The nonprofit playhouse’s board is launching a major fundraising campaign to pay for the equipment and other costs. Members hope to find a way to keep the theater open during the installation.

During the remaining performances of “Finishing Touches,” the playhouse must pay $90 a night for a firefighter with a radio to be posted inside the hall.

For details about the theater, go to www.pewterploughplayhouse.org .

— Kathe Tanner