Working to save the Recher
As soon as senior Rachel Harman read on her Facebook that the Recher Theatre was closing down, she said she wouldn’t stand idly by while her favorite venue changed was transformed into a nightclub.
Harman thought the best route she could take was to start a petition so members of the Towson community could express their concerns.
She started a petition online, which as of Wednesday afternoon, had 1,013 signatures.
Harman will soon be featured in a Baltimore magazine article that highlights the attention the petition has received so far.
“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it to get this big, I thought it would plateau around 500 [signatures],” Harman said.
Once the petition expires online the first week of March, Harman said she will hand deliver the petition and all the signatures to the owner of the theater, Brian Recher.
“One of my friends works there, and he contacted me and said that as soon as the petition is done, he would take it to the owners, because he’s been battling the owners for months to get them to not change it,” she said.
The Recher’s plan is to convert the theater into a nightclub, called Torrent, in the spring. The Recher’s last show is currently scheduled for March 31. Senior Rickey Solomon said he would support the petition, because the closing of the Recher would drastically change the Towson community.
“It served as kind of a haven for the community here,” he said. “I think it should stay open but that some things should be improved upon. And the thing about making it a night club is you’re taking away that live aspect.”
If the club closes Harman said she believes it will be detrimental for the Baltimore music scene.
“I think it’s going to completely destroy the entire Baltimore music scene,” she said. “It’s the only bigger, but smaller feel venue in the area. The Ottobar is capped at like 200 people, and then you only have Ram’s Head which is for bigger acts, and then Merriweather, which is for even bigger acts.”
The owners have known they wanted to convert the theater for roughly 18 months, according to various media, so Harman said she does not expect the petition to change the owners’ minds.
But she would at least like to see them host a few concerts there per week, and use the dance club one or two nights.
“An overwhelming amount of people [on the petition] asked them why they couldn’t do half and half,” Harman said. “Obviously they’ve been planning this for a long time so I don’t expect it to completely change their mind but it could change a little bit at least.”
Harman was scheduled to meet with Baltimore magazine Wednesday, she said, and she hopes that more people will be inspired to sign the petition.
“I think people within Towson and the area know about and know it could cause some problems. Just spreading it around and get it to as many people as possible,” she said.
Even if the chances of the petition making an impact are slim, Harman said she won’t stop pushing to save the venue.
“I went to the first show there without my parents, and I think that’s part of the issue because it’s in such a safe part of town, getting rid of it would get rid of any place parents could feel safe sending their kids or where people feel comfortable,” she said. “It’s just been such a big part of my life that it’s just not fair to let it go.”