CAPE CORAL — Two cultural fixtures in the Cape Coral community are struggling financially, and need community support.
The Cultural Park Theater and the Southwest Florida Military Museum haven’t been able to host visitors for months, and the loss of revenue could force them to close their doors for good.
Cultural Park Theater Director Michael Moran gave us a tour of the stage Friday. Right now, it's filled with the set for a show that never happened.
“There’s a real fear that this, if we open, this would be our last year, that it would be hard to make it through it," said Moran.
Moran said the theater was already just bringing in enough to keep the lights on. The pandemic has been a big blow to their funding.
“From March, when we had to close down, because it was still part of season, those losses were almost $60 thousand. We have to recover that," said Moran.
Over at the Southwest Florida Military Museum, the story is similar.
“We had to cut all of our events out. I think the last estimate was almost $40 thousand in event income that we’ve lost in that period of time since we closed," said Museum Founder Ralph Santillo.
Santillo said, in their case, the situation may be even more dire. The building is in the process of being sold by the owner. If the museum can’t come up with enough to secure a $2.1 million mortgage, it may not be here next year.
“We have no idea how we would move over the 30 or 40 thousand items that we have accumulated in this museum," said Santillo.
Items like war medals and a flight attendant jacket from a plane that went down during 9-11. All of it donated from the community. Now, Santillo said they need to rely on that generosity again.
“We’ve done a lot of things for the community. I’m hoping the community comes to us now and finds a way," said Santillo.
Moran said he’s already organized online fundraisers for later this year, but he’s also getting ready to retire, and thinking about his legacy.
“I want this place to be thriving when I walk out that door the last time. I don’t want to go out the door the last time and lock it forever," said Moran.
You can make a donation to the Cultural Park Theater by clicking here.
You can make a donation to the Southwest Florida Military Museum by clicking here.