The theater gained in prestige to the point that invitations to work there were highly prized in the theater profession. Its reputation grew nationally and Paramount Pictures produced a short film showing its complete operation.The Playhouse reopened after the war, hosting an array of well-known stars that included the likes of Marlon Brando, Art Carney, Talullah Bankhead, Helen Hayes, Betty Grable, Groucho Marx, June Lockhart, Gloria Vanderbilt, Kitty Carlisle, Don Ameche, John Forsythe, June Allison, Alan Alda, and Treat Williams (just to name a few). It continued to operate successfully until the late 1970’s when the owner, Ken Krezel, decided to sell the property.
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Ivoryton’s fame as one of Americas leading summer showplaces continued to grow until the outbreak of World War II when the theater went dark for several seasons, mainly because severe tire and gasoline rationing made it virtually impossible for audiences to get to Ivoryton.
It was then, amid rumors that the historic theater might be torn down to make way for a discount drug store that the non-profit Ivoryton Playhouse Foundation was organized and with the help of The Essex Savings Bank, came up with a mortgage to buy the property…for $115,000....as well as opera; kudos to The Salt Marsh Opera Company for adding such a distinction to an already important historical venue for the arts in America. Congratulations on a job well done!
Over the course of the past 28 years, the Ivoryton Playhouse Foundation has completed a total renovation of the building, including new shingles, a new heating and air-conditioning system, new seats and state-of-the-art theatrical sound and lighting systems. The Playhouse has maintained its reputation as a first-class summer theatre and now produces a year-round professional season of musicals, comedies and dramas.
All quotes in this article are from the website of the Ivoryton Playhouse.