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|Home: BigScreen Journal - Green Cove Springs, FL: Clay Theatre Closes|
The Clay Theatre in Green Cove Springs, Florida closed recently, according to an article in the Florida Times-Union:
This is a pretty little town, especially on a spring day when a gusty northeast wind whips up whitecaps all across the broad St. Johns River.
And the Clay Theatre is a pretty little movie house, built in 1937, just a block away from an idyllic riverfront spring and park that's ringed with azaleas.
You look at the neon marquee that faces brick-lined Walnut Street and the modern City Hall across the way. It reads: "TEMP CLOSED." The building's empty, for sale.
Gause, 62, closed the theater after he had a stroke last year; he couldn't keep it open through his illness. He had major surgery related to the stroke in January. And while he says he's recovered completely, he's ready to move on.
"I'd like to see it kept as a theater, but I can certainly understand if it isn't," he says. "A big chain's not going to come buy this. They don't want this."
"People would be overjoyed to see it reopen," says Calvin Wilcox, a Green Cove Springs resident. "It was a draw. It's old-fashioned. You don't see that kind of theater anymore, and you never will."
Gause doesn't want to disappoint, but he has to give this news: The Clay Theatre probably won't reopen any time soon. At least not if he's the one in charge. It's been a good run, but, for now it's over.
Will he miss running it?
He answers, immediately and emphatically: "No."
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