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.