When the Caldwell Theatre in Boca Raton closed in 2012, the 30,000-square-foot space it occupied went dark. Now, the theater has found new life in the hands of the Wick family [The Wick Theatre and Costume Museum].
Since the 1970s, Marilynn Wick has been acquiring Broadway costumes, amassing more than 1.2 million pieces valued at a total of $21 million. This collection was publicly displayed at a warehouse in Pompano Beach headed by Marilynn’s daughter, Kimberly, the museum director. When the Caldwell Theatre became available, the duo saw potential for growth.
“It was such a sin that this building, this house of art, was sitting here unoccupied,” Kimberly says. “It felt like it needed life.”
Since April, the pair has been renovating around the clock, preparing for the museum opening this month and an inaugural theater season, which began in September with The Sound of Music.
The building now houses a museum space as well as a hat shop, a gift shop, a replica of the Tavern on the Green restaurant (deemed the Wick Tavern) and a number of spaces for rotating displays.
The biggest addition to the Wick experience is the theater. Following renovations, including new sound and lighting systems, the 333-seat theater will now stage American Broadway classics.
“For over 40 years, we’ve been the largest wardrober of American musical classic wardrobes, so we know that genre of the stage very well,” Kimberly says.
Above all else, the Wicks hope to become an intricate part of the local arts community. “We need to listen to our audience and to their requests,” Kimberly says. “Our goal is to nurture this community.”
2013-14 Season Schedule:
- Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, November 14 to December 25
- 42nd Street, January 9 to February 9
- The Full Monty, February 20 to March 23
- Steel Magnolias, April 3 to May 4
- Ain’t Misbehavin’, May 15 to June 15
Photography by Amy Pasquantonio