— "The state wanted intellectual property ownership," Anderson said. "That could not happen. The state also wants to decide when a show ends its run. If I put on a show that wasn't a hit, I'd be stuck with it, losing money."

A new Theatre in Old Town operator was also going to have to make physical improvements, such as accessibility in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a new roof, carpeting, electrical upgrades and landscaping maintenance outside the facility. Built in 1979, the theater is barnlike and void of elegant features.

"Unfortunately, Insta-Theatre Inc. refused to sign the contract after it was awarded," said Donna Renner, California State Parks Coast District concession specialist. "This was a huge disappointment all around. We are now inviting the previous participants, one by one, to engage in negotiations. If we are able to engage in negotiation, we will re-bid."

Although the parks department last year received just one bid for the theater concession, three companies participated in a pre-bid question-and-answer process. Besides Insta-Theatre, Cygnet Theatre (currently in the Rolando/College area) and Miziker Entertainment Group (of Burbank, Calif.) were the other Q&A participants.

Anderson said he spent about $30,000 in application and legal fees, equipment purchases, and miscellaneous items to secure the theater concession that was awarded in January.

The parks department also approached Miracle, but it declined to get involved, Renner said. Miracle is moving to Encinitas to build a playhouse at the Encinitas Ranch Town Center.

If contract negotiations don't start by the end of March, the state will consider renting out the Theatre in Old Town for special events during a six-month rebid process, Renner added.

Restoration Comedy, by Amy Freed

Old Globe Theatre, Simon Edison Centre for the Performing Arts, Balboa Park

Directed by John Rando; cast: Marco Barricelli, John Keating, Peter Frechette, Kimberly Scott, Caralyn Kozlowski, Amelia McClain, Danny Scheie, Kate Turnbull, Chip Brookes, Michael Izquierdo, Chris Bresky, Jonathan McMurtry, Cara Greene, Rhett Henckel, Aaron Misakian, Summer Shirey, Christa Scott-Reed; scenic design, Ralph Funicello; costumes, Robert Blackman; lighting, York Kennedy; sound, Paul Peterson; original music, Michael Roth

Playing through April 8; Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Matinee Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. 619-234-5623.

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