The Globe Theatre in Norwalk, Connecticut was built at the turn of the last century as a vaudeville house called The Regent. It later became a cinema. In the mid-90's, a big time New York City nightclub owner transformed it into a rock & roll venue, sadly very short lived... A new proprietor changed the name again to The Roxy while a long string of careless promoters destroyed the space. Last year the old theatre changed hands again. The current owners have plans to put in condos while a large developer Poko and the Music Theatre of Connecticut have been working with the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency to acquire and save the theatre. I just wedged myself into the debate... I have a bunch of ideas!

Proposal to theatre owner Andrew D. Kydes

November 17th 2007

Globe Revival Proposal
Norwalk, Connecticut
Theatre Owner: Andrew D. Kydes
Promoter: Remy Chevalier

In the mid-80s I co-published a state-wide music newspaper called VoxPop. We organized events at Toads in New Haven, also Anthrax in Norwalk, and other venues. I’d written up a business plan for an environmental education center I wanted to open up in Westport. A friend showed the proposal to Larry Bloch who invited me to incorporate my ideas into the nightclub he was opening in Manhattan. In 1989, the Eco-Saloon at Wetlands was born.

Wetlands became one of the most successful nightclubs in New York, sadly closing its doors in 2001, but lives on in the hearts and minds of many, now the topic of a documentary Wetlands Preserved soon on DVD about its musical and social impact on history. We were the first environmental nightclub in the country. A large portion of the club’s revenue went to promote environmental causes. The direct action portion of the organization carries on with such victories as encouraging the Victoria’s Secret catalog to print on recycled paper.

I was born in Norwalk, raised in France where I grew up. My father was one of the major creative forces of ELLE magazine from 1945 till the mid-60’s. I moved back to America in 1973. I have been an environmental activist my entire life. In the course of my career I solicited the participation of artists, musicians, film makers, actors, many of them now world famous. In 2006 I took a drive up the Hudson river to shoot a series of photographs which led to the creation of Rock The Reactors, a coalition dedicated to shut down the Indian Point nuclear power plant.

This is how I came to think about the Globe Theatre again. Because I find myself in need of a space where I can organize shows, invests portions of the proceeds into organizations dedicated to this cause. The Globe was my favorite movie house in Fairfield County… the only place before video, before the SoNo Cinema, where one could see alternative films, cartoon matinees… I was thrilled to see it renovated as a performance hall, then sad and angry when that venture turned sour while a string of reckless, ruthless, greedy promoters trashed the space. This is not how I do business.

The neighborhood around the Globe is quickly changing, evolving into a hub for the green revolution. Recently Pymander Books, the oldest new age bookstore in Connecticut, opened right down the street. Next door, the Centre for Natural Healing, relocated from Darien with an illustrious clientele. The Stand, a raw food take-out, appeals to a new generation in tune with the needs of the Earth. E, The Environmental magazine, the longest running publication of its kind in the country, has editorial offices on Knight street. Lillian August has just made a firm commitment to sustainable furniture design. Green Home Solutions has a showroom across the street from the Lime Restaurant.

These are all businesses I have a long standing relationship with, which the Globe can draw from to establish strong bonds within the community, outreach into Connecticut, Westchester county, even New York. Promoting events at the Globe will not be a challenge. I have commitments from dozens of volunteers who will help me get the facility up and running. I simply want to be given a chance to turn the marquee lights back on. My experience, my reputation, my dedication, my love of music, the arts, and the environment, has already proved to be a winning combination in hundreds of events and promotions over the years. I can do it again here.

Currently the Globe is being used to store antics. I ask to be given one year from the time we relocate this inventory to turn the theatre into a viable commercial venture. I have some of the most successful, talented individuals in the entertainment industry on speed dial, who are willing to give me of their time and resources, as a community effort, to restore the Globe into a class act, a space for an A-list crowd, attracting artists and performers from all over the country, by virtue of the causes the theatre will support as a result of my participation in its revival.

If we all partake equally in the evolution of this project, it is possible. This is done through dividing the proceeds of the take at the door between the performers, the theatre owner, the operating expenses and the supporting environmental organizations. Like everyone else, I donate my services. I ask and will take no salary directly from the theatre. I ask in exchange for a firm directorial position. I need to have final say on all things pertaining to the management of the space. It cannot evolve successfully any other way. I listen, I am fair, I am extremely courageous and hard working. But I also know from life experience that there can only be one captain on a ship.

If at the end of a year, I have failed to transform the Globe into the most successful and popular new music hall in Fairfield County, I walk away. But failure is not an option. I want to hear nothing about Plan B for an entire year… no specter of condos looming darkly over the horizon… We want to allow the dream to take hold and blossom. The first thing I do is create an old fashioned looking newspaper, called The Globe, which we distribute around a 50 miles radius, describing what our plans and our intentions are. The doors will be open to anyone wishing to lend time and effort. I will be there 24/7 tending to the peaceful, harmonious, evolution of the project. This cannot happen by absentee management. I will in essence pour my soul into the space.

Why? Simple really… it all starts with a space… the space is everything… the space is the atmosphere, the dedication, what a space stands for, the people it attracts, the community it creates… this can only happen with an extremely, yet very flexible set of guiding principles. It’s not about money, or power, it’s about common ground and common cause… a shared love for music and the arts… for environmental causes… it’s Mickey Rooney, let’s put on a show… it’s what America is all about.

But I am also a practical man, reasonable, and realistic. We will need resources, which in great part will require donations, for dumpsters, sound system, lights, construction, wood work, etc… I live and function in an alternative universe where barter and trade make up for my lack of financial fortunes. An immediate source of revenue will be the store front concession which can generate profits through the sale of green goods, such as organic rock and roll t-shirts, green products and services, a lounge people can read, share ideas, even before the first band ever plays the stage. The Globe in essence becomes a situation room for the growing green spirit of the neighborhood.

Strategic alliance with green blogs and MySpace activists… a multitude of green reporters and journalists are ready to start spilling ink about the green revival at the Globe… through dozens of alternative media outlets… this is all ready to happen on a moment’s notice, the minute we give the go ahead. We come ready, prepared, with all our dominos stacked in a row… we can host Greendrinks at The Globe.
(Pending a miracle...)


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