NewsCovering Kentucky


Curtain Drops After Jenny Wiley Theatre Evicted From Pikeville

Posted at 1:42 PM, Apr 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-05 13:42:51-04

(Appalachian News-Express) – The cities of Pikeville and Prestonsburg are dropping the curtain on a landmark Kentucky theatre, citing financial mismanagement.

The Appalachian News-Express reports that the City of Pikeville has issued a noticed to the Jenny Wiley Drama Association to vacate the premises of their downtown space. Jenny Wiley Theatre operates both the indoor Pikeville space and an amphitheater in Prestonsburg. Those spaces will be turned over to the East Kentucky Expo Center and the city of Prestonsburg, respectively.

Pikeville’s city manager, Phillip Elswick, told the newspaper that the drama association’s debts approached $1 million toward third-party entities.  He also said that the cities will continue to use the venues for performing arts.

The eviction of the theatre came after the Jenny Wiley Drama Association defaulted on the lease agreement.  The city originally intended to renegotiate, but Elswick said they received troubling information about the group’s financial mismanagement.

Pikeville’s mayor Jimmy Carter released a statement:

As soon as I heard about the issues surrounding the Jenny Wiley Drama Association, we took action to protect taxpayer dollars and preserve the arts for our region. While it is regrettable that the JWDA has reached such a precarious position, the city was left with no choice but to issue this notice to protect taxpayers and to ensure that live theatre would continue in downtown Pikeville.”