Layoffs, Pay Cuts Hit Balboa, Civic Theatres

Closures prompted by coronavirus restrictions forced venues to shutter through April 30

San Diego Civic Theatre

Two of San Diego’s landmark downtown live-performance theatres cut their workforces last week after coronavirus restrictions required the cancellation of many of their booked programs, according to a memo issued to the staff last week.

Twenty-one workers were laid off and 13 other full-time positions were converted to part-time roles, with those employees only working in the future when the events schedule required them to do so. Pay cuts of 5-15 percent were also implemented for the remaining non-union staff.

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The Balboa Theatre

“This week, we were faced with extremely difficult decisions that impacted valued and respected team members…,” said San Diego Theatres executives Carol Wallace and Kelly Bargabos in the memo issued after the layoffs. “We ask that you now look to the future with us…. It is because of this that we, as leaders, are committed to doing what we need to in order to keep San Diego Theatres as a viable, thriving, performing arts organization that will live on to create moments that matter for us, our guests and patrons, and for the entire San Diego community.”

All events at the Balboa and Civic have been canceled through the end of April, with most events on the calendar in May and June canceled or postponed as well.

"San Diego Theatres is a nonprofit, and like many other organizations, we've had to make some hard decisions in a very short time," Wallace, the theatres' president and CEO, said in an official statement NBC 7 received Friday afternoon.

Wallace said she considers the affected employees to be "furloughed" and hopes and expects that they will return to working at the theaters in the future. She also stated that the theatres now have 25 full-time employees and a pool of 180 part-time staffers as a result of the shifting status of some workers.

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