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State Theatre Woes Continue

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Live Nation has been forced to cancel the two remaining shows on the schedule for the State Theatre in Portland, Maine, due to lingering fire code violations and personnel complications.

“We feel like it’s in the best interest of the safety of the public,” Live Nation’s Lauren Wayne told the Portland Press Herald.

A performance by Brian Regan scheduled for April 29th was moved to the Merrill Auditorium in Portland, and a Saves The Day concert set for May 4 has been moved to the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.

The theater, a thriving venue up until a few months ago, is essentially shut down after the state Fire Marshal’s Office cited the venue for 23 violations, ranging from electrical problems to inadequate emergency lighting. The violations reportedly played a part in a dispute between venue operator Chris Morgan and building owner Grant Wilson, as well, with Morgan forced into eviction on March 1.

Wayne and Live Nation’s Teaparty Concerts in Boston learned of the violations a few months ago, and grew weary of booking shows at the venue. They continued only under the supervision of the Fire Marshal’s office, Wayne told the paper.

“The fire marshals were present at every show,” she said.

When Morgan was forced out, Wayne decided to move the two remaining shows.

Kelly Sawyer, property manager for the theater, told the paper immediately after Morgan’s departure that she hoped to find a new operator soon. How long the State will remain closed is unclear.

“We plan to work hard to get the theater up and running again with a new tenant,” Sawyer said. “It hopefully won’t be down for very long.” –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers