“One of the things that has made us successful is that people like to come listen to music, hear wonderful tales and have a cocktail,” said Jeffrey Gladstone, a member of the Odeum Board of Directors, adding that the new license will allow them to continue doing so.
Monday night the town council approved the Class T liquor license, the only one of its type in East Greenwich.
The Class T license is created specifically for what is referred to as “legitimate theaters,” meaning theaters that are “nonprofit, cultural organizations and for profit historic theaters located in the city of Newport whose primary purpose is to provide a support system to deliver and coordinate carious arts activities for the benefit of the communities they serve or which provide life, regularly-scheduled theatrical productions on a regular basis throughout the year and all events contributing towards the goal of providing quality artistic experiences for the community,” according to Rhode Island law.
“We are a vibrant, growing, self-sustaining organization that is in its third phase of a hopefully five-phase reboot of a classic 1920’s era theater,” said Gladstone, referring to the ongoing rehabilitation projects that have been going on over the last year to update the historic theater.
As a nonprofit organization, the Odeum relies on grants and donations to continue providing shows and entertainment to the community.
“We have used money from the Champlin Foundation, in conjunction with [other] grants, and the support of the community, our theater goers, and other generous supporters from the community, we’re hoping to have another hundred years of success,” said Gladstone. “The Odeum is a not-for-profit organization that is here to provide for the social welfare and entertainment of our community.”
Gladstone went on to say that the Odeum has become just one stop on a night out in East Greenwich, something that has helped to keep the surrounding restaurants on Main Street busy during nights of events.
“One of the things that we do that I’m very very proud of, is when you come to one of our shows and you spend time around town going to some of the restaurants, the restaurants are packed,” said Gladstone. “We’re becoming an anchor of the downtown area.”
Having the license will allow the Odeum to sell alcohol at the theater’s newly-renovated bar during schedules events. The next event at the Odeum is tonight at 8 p.m., when Rusted Root will perform.