The Suffolk Theater received quick approval for a temporary green room during a special Riverhead Town Board meeting Thursday morning, and shows planned for Friday and Saturday went on as planned.
Bob Castaldi, the theater’s owner, has repeatedly said that without a green room for performers, there would be no performers and, eventually, no theater.
He had established a green room in space leased from the adjacent law offices of Esseks, Hefner, Angel, DiTalia and Pasca, but when Mr. Castaldi blocked off part of the parking behind the theater, which the firm had been using, he was evicted.
The solution was to purchase an 840-square-foot “temporary” trailer for use as a green room, and erect an eight-foot stockade fence around the portion of the parking lot behind the theater that Mr. Castaldi owns.
Mr. Castaldi had previously fenced off a wider area that included land on which he has a perpetual easement form the town, but agreed not to fence off that area, according to former councilman Vic Prusinowski, who is working with him on the green room issue.
Mr. Castaldi had previously said he fenced off the area behind the theater because he hopes to hold outdoor events like weddings there.
“The long-term plan has always been to put phase two on the property,” which would include adding a permanent green room to the back of the theater, Mr. Prusinowski said.
The theater hosted performances by the New Millennium Big Band Friday night and Motown legends Martha Reeves and the Vandellas on Saturday night.
Mr. Prusinowski said the green room installation “wasn’t 100 percent” ready for those performances, so an office on the theater mezzanine office was used as a green room instead.
He said the new green room should be ready to go by this weekend, when the theater will host Robby Krieger of The Doors on Friday and Riverhead Town’s 225th anniversary gala on Saturday.
The Town Board resolution approved last Thursday doesn’t specify how long the temporary trailer will remain on the property, which led to a brief argument among board members.
“Do we want a temporary trailer in the parking lot?” Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said.
“I want a Suffolk Theater that’s not going to close down,” Supervisor Sean Walter said.
The trailer was approved unanimously.