How Costumes Are Saving One Palm Beach Theater

May 24, 2013

The new Wick Theater in Boca Raton will mount at least six shows next season, including The Sound of Music.
Credit C. DiMattei

A Broward County costume company is breathing new life into a Palm Beach County theater that fell victim to financial hard times.

The owners of Costume World are renovating the 30,000-square-foot former home of the Caldwell Theatre in Boca Raton and will operate the theater themselves under a new name.

Last year, the Caldwell closed down under the weight of $7 million in debt.

Costume World Vice President Kimberly Wick says that loss left a huge gap in the Palm Beach County theater world.

"I drove past this theater for the last year couple of times a month and said to myself, 'I cannot believe that it's empty,’ ” says Wick.  “I mean, it's a wonderful venue and we kind of felt obligated."

The new Wick Theater will mount at least six shows next season, beginning with Rodgers & Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music."

Wick says she feels strongly about employing local talent.

"Every time I'm at one of these shows and I'm dressing folks at a local theater, one after another is from New York.  And I'm like, 'Well, there's so much wonderful local talent here. Why isn't anyone employing them?,' " says Wick.

Eight years ago, Costume World bought the entire inventory of a New York City-based company that owned costumes from some of Broadway's most historic shows.

The renovated theater space in Boca Raton will also serve double-duty as a costume museum.