Vaudeville Cafe Takes its Last Bow; 40 Actors Out of Jobs
Vaudeville Cafe in Downtown Chattanooga has taken its last bow. The murder mystery restaurant had its last performance Saturday night. Shortly after movers immediately began clearing out.
The lights are now off inside the Vaudeville Cafe. Owner, Christopher Hampton says the establishment became a financial burden - and rent in the Market Street building was too high. Up to 40 actors are now without a stage. They say they will cherish the memories of Vaudeville Cafe for the rest of their life.
Laughs no longer fill the air at the Vaudeville Cafe in Downtown Chattanooga. Lights are dimmed and memories from shows like Mystery of Flight 138 and Mystery of a Red Neck Italian Wedding are a distant past. “We went there to laugh with each other, went there to make people laugh, with depression, stress, and the economy everything is just harsh. It was just a good place to go, we couldn't fix anything but we could make you forget about it for 2-3 hours and we could forget about it,” said former actress Sherry Allen.
For over 15 years this was the spot to be for weekends in downtown. Actors ranging from lifelong talent to college kids home for summer break all took part. Like every Saturday, the actors came to perform little did they know they were about to take their last bow.
“It is like going to church, or a school, or an office and the building is gone and you still have all these connections with the people but a hole there, it's not the same.”
Actress, Sherry Allen says this group of people were more than co-workers they were her family. “We all just wanted to enjoy life. Show up and check on each other and encourage one another and pull that audience in give a little relief for a while make them laugh, make them smile.”
As she thinks back on the past 7 years and her time at the Vaudeville Cafe she says thanks for the memories, “I am grateful for that, grateful for the springboard it was. Thankful for all the joy it brought me, I went through some troublesome years and it was a saving grace. It really helped me through dark times.”
There is no word yet if anyone is interested in purchasing the cafe. On the official Vaudeville Cafe Facebook page they announced the closing "we are very sad ...but we are grateful to have last 15 wonderful years."
We wish all the actors to continue to break a leg in all their future endeavors.