It’s been reported that the Imperial Theatre is nearing its fundraising goal of $250,000, an amount that represents the 25 percent match needed to unlock $1 million in SPLOST funding. They’ve done a lot recently to try to get this money, and insiders speculate the $40,000 needed to put them over the top will arrive in time, given the coordinated holiday push.
And a limited-edition Henry Wynn print certainly can’t hurt.
But while few would question the significance of the Imperial to Augusta’s arts community or what an asset a fully restored and vibrant Broad Street theater could have on any number of downtown ventures, not everyone has forgotten the theater’s troubling, though largely ignored, past.
Just five years ago it was discovered that vendors were not getting paid, and a look at the books revealed $150,000 in missing money. Imperial Theatre Director Lara Plocha was fired, yet ultimately there was no resolution as to where the money went.
$150,000 is a lot of money to come up missing. An awful lot of money.
One red flag — while orders for liquor were up considerably, revenue from mixed drinks was down.
Off the record, there was a lot of anger and a genuine sense of betrayal by those on the board at the time, yet no forensic audit was ever performed to determine where the money went. Additionally, no police report was filed. At the time, everyone was silent. No one on the board wanted the bad press, so it was swept under the rug.
Over the years, however, some of those involved have loosened up a bit about where the money might have gone.
As a nonprofit entity receiving taxpayer dollars, you would have expected a thunderous chorus of outrage and jeering to get to the bottom of it all, but alas, it has remained a true Augusta mystery… to some. You Might Also Like:
A True Augusta Mystery?
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