Out of Roanoke comes sad news for those of us who remember Mill Mountain Theater in its glory days.

Writes Kevin Kittridge of The Roanoke Times:

How bad off is Mill Mountain Theatre these days?

Nine months after the theater slashed three plays from its season in a last-minute effort to cut costs, the answer varies, depending on whom you ask. But on the critical question of the theater’s long-term survival, the answers sometimes come slowly, with measured words:

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” said theater board member Mike Warner.

“I feel like the problem this theater is having is the same problem other theaters have had, a lot of which have closed,” said longtime theater supporter Betty Carr Muse. “We’re attempting to address it.”

“I do not anticipate an immediate closing,” said Jim Sears, president of Center in the Square, which gives the theater its space free of charge. “I do not anticipate a long-term closing. Mill Mountain Theatre does have support. I think it’s an emergency, yeah.”

Not good. Not good at all. When I worked for The Times from 1965-69, the MMT was in its glory. Veteran Hollywood actor David Huddleston, a native of Vinton, ran the artistic program and the fare was both daring and innovative in plays presented on top of the mountain at the old Rockledge Inn (since burned).

The theater deserves our support. It is a treasure that Southwestern Virginia must not lose.