PictureThrockmorton Theatre, June 2020.

Dear Mill Valley Community,

We hope you are safe and well as the holidays begin and this challenging year comes to a close.

When my husband, Bruce, and I joined the board of the Throckmorton Theatre earlier this year, the world had just changed forever and the theatre had gone dark. But as we spent quiet time in its once bustling rooms, thinking of strategies to help this treasure in our village survive, it was a privilege and a wonder to listen to the walls talk:

Revisiting memories of its early days as a silent movie theatre beginning in 1915, with George Cooke as the manager; Hearing stories of Lucy Mercer’s bravery and vision, taking on this little corner of town and turning it into the center of its soul;
Standing in awe amidst Steve Coleman’s fanciful scenes painted on every inch of every room, in a palette of colors and style so unique to this incredible space; Remembering the voices of Robin Williams, Mort Sahl and so many others who considered it a sanctuary, where their privacy was protected and their creative inspiration nurtured; Revisiting recordings of all types of world-class music – from rock to jazz to chamber – that filled the noon times, night times and festival weekends.

And as one month led to another, the windows on the street came alive with puppets and miniatures, telling stories to the children who continue to visit daily and exciting the imaginations of passers by. 

The marquee chimed in with hopeful messages of strength, caring and compassion. Black Lives Matter erupted in full voice and the marquee joined in solidarity. Ruth Bader Ginsburg left this world, and the marquee held her inspiring thoughts.

Youth actors appeared on scene, with a twinkle in their eyes behind their masks. Unstoppable in their desire to express themselves and their craft, they rehearsed on Zoom and performed in the park. They sat apart in Covid-safe classes and explored social justice through the arts. 

And the village showed their ongoing belief in the magic this theatre has to offer by joining our fundraiser for streaming equipment.  Our team immersed themselves in the challenges of new technology, and professional-quality tests made our hearts sing again! If we can survive into a new year, joy and music are ready to erupt from the rooms once more. 

It is difficult to create economics around something that is like air, that is magic. But the Throckmorton Theatre needs everyone’s support and financial help to survive this incredible world upheaval. With your generous donation, we hope to reach our goal of $400,000, so that artists can return to the stage and audiences to the seats. 

Mill Valley is such a unique place made up of special people. It is home to one of the most creative communities in the world. And the artistic crown jewel of our little European-style town is, without doubt, the Throckmorton Theatre.

The end of the year – especially this one – is a wonderful time to count our blessings and dream of hopeful possibilities in the New Year. Please join us in ensuring the presence of the Throckmorton Theatre for generations to come. It’s difficult to imagine our special village without it! 

Thank you! We are so grateful for your continued generosity! 

Mary Dilts and Bruce Tremayne


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