North Shore Swan Song

The cash-strapped North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Mass., closed for good June 17 after officials were unable to raise the funds needed to keep the doors open a little longer.

Board chairman David Fellows told the Boston Globe that trustees had no other choice left but to shutter.

“There’s no doubt that the theatre and myself have disappointed and angered a lot subscribers,” Fellows said. “I apologize for that and I’m heartbroken about that. At every step of the way, we tried to do what we thought was our job.”

Officials faced reality after raising just $500,000 of the $2 million needed to stay open for a scaled-down, co-produced 2009 summer season. Only a small percentage of about 4,400 ticket holders will get a refund, the paper said.

The theatre, opened in 1955, has been struggling since December with $10 million in debt reportedly the result of dwindling donations, slow ticket sales and overwhelming debt from a 2005 fire that left no means to cover operating costs.

Fellows said the board is now considering filing for bankruptcy as well as seeking potential buyers.