MORROW — If it becomes a reality, community theater in Morrow may be funded with tax dollars, but it will be the city’s visitors — not its residents — footing the bill, said the town’s top tourism official.
Mike Twomey, president of the Morrow Business and Tourism Association, told the city council Tuesday he wants to look at setting up a space for community theater. The space would be used by either existing acting troupes or a new one in Morrow.
Twomey said Thursday it’s possible the study — which may cost upwards of $3,000 — could be paid for with a grant, but he can’t commit completely to the possibility that tax dollars won’t be needed.
If the city sees an opportunity to set up a community theater space, an unfinished part of the Morrow Center at Southlake Mall might be used. The space housed a diner when that part of the mall was a Macy’s department store.
“That diner space is fantastic, but I still want to do a study to make certain we don’t throw away money,” said Twomey. “I have been on this for years and finally see a chance.”
If tax dollars are used, they would come from Morrow’s hotel and motel tax fund, which pays for MBTA activities, said Twomey.
Twomey has floated the names of at least two groups that he says could use a theater space in Morrow at least occasionally. One is the Jonesboro-based Front Porch Players, which launched earlier this year and has already done two productions. A third is scheduled for November.
The other group is the Henry Players from Henry County.
If the MBTA can get a grant to do the study, it would allow Morrow to avoid any controversy that would come from residents complaining about theater being studied on the taxpayer’s dime — even if it is the visiting taxpayer’s dime — at the same time that the city is planning a tax increase of 2 mills.