The Presidio Theatre, a new not-for-profit organization created to restore and operate the historic Presidio Theatre on the Main Post of the San Francisco Presidio, invites applications and nominations for the position of Executive Director, available in the summer of 2017.
The Presidio Theatre
In June, 2017, the Margaret E. Haas Fund in partnership with the Presidio Trust announced plans to rehabilitate the Presidio Theatre into a high quality and affordable multipurpose space for live theatre, film, dance, music, lectures, educational programming, and special events. The Presidio Theatre, a newly formed not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, will operate the venue as a performance space for both professional and community-based artists and ensembles in the Bay Area.
Built in 1939 as a movie theatre for the officers and enlisted men at the Main Post, the Presidio Theatre was host to live performances and radio broadcasts by entertainers like Jack Benny and Bob Hope during World War II. It continued to serve as a movie theatre and roadhouse for entertaining the resident military and their families after the war. The Army renovated the theatre in 1962. The last movie was shown in 1994, and the building has been vacant ever since.
The Presidio Theatre’s two-year rehabilitation project will begin in the summer of 2017. When completed, the theatre will reflect its original 1939 Spanish Colonial Revival design with approximately 650 seats, a functionally expanded stage, new accessible seating, and code-compliant restrooms. An outdoor pavilion will be created in an area that opens on to a new courtyard.
A recent study commissioned by the Presidio Theatre identified nearly 100 area groups as potential users, analyzed prospective utilization, and confirmed the need for a facility that serves smaller performing arts organizations and allows them to showcase their work to a wide range of audiences. The Presidio Theatre will fill that need for affordable, accessible, state-of-the-art space. Theatre operations will be funded through a mix of rental fees, ticket sales, and fundraising.
The Presidio Trust is an innovative Federal agency created to save the Presidio and transform the 1,500-acre military installation near the Golden Gate Bridge into a national park. The Presidio today is a community of residents and commercial tenants, and offers unique recreation, hospitality, and educational opportunities to people throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and the world.
Working with the Board, the Executive Director will have a unique leadership opportunity to create, design, and implement the operating plan that introduces the beautifully renovated Presidio Theatre to the Bay Area arts community. The Executive Director will shape the inaugural and subsequent seasons of the Presidio Theatre’s hosting of performances of local organizations; establish operating policies; define the Presidio Theatre’s brand; and engage with artists, arts organizations, and audiences throughout the vibrant San Francisco Bay Area.
The Executive Director of the Presidio Theatre is the chief executive officer and reports to the Board of Directors. Working with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director ensures that the Presidio Theatre fulfills its mission and achieves its goals for access, community engagement, and financial sustainability through not-for-profit rentals, sponsorships, ticket sales, and contributed income, as well as occasional commercial rentals.
The Executive Director will develop a business and operating plan for the Presidio Theater’s inaugural and subsequent seasons, with the intention that the Presidio Theatre serve primarily as a venue for local arts organizations rather than a presenting organization itself. S/he will design a booking strategy that ensures balanced program offerings that attract broad and diverse audiences and resources to the Theatre. S/he will develop and promote the Presidio Theatre’s brand throughout the Bay Area.
The Executive Director will recommend policies and procedures for all aspects of the Theatre’s operations, including: scheduling and booking; rental fees; facilities usage; box office; promotion; production; media use; and hospitality. S/he will foster an environment that is user-friendly and welcoming to audiences, arts presenting organizations, and renters.
Working with the Board and its Treasurer, the Executive Director will develop annual and multi-year operating budgets; monitor performance against budget; and achieve budgeted income goals. S/he will establish fiscal policies, financial systems, and controls.
The Executive Director will plan and implement a comprehensive fundraising program that includes individual, foundation, corporate, and government support for annual operations, facilities maintenance, reserves, and special projects. S/he will take a leadership role in identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and providing excellent stewardship for gifts.
The Executive Director will identify personnel requirements and policies for the Presidio Theatre. S/he will assist in identifying professional staff roles to be filled (expected to be four to six positions), and will be heavily involved in the hiring process. Once those professional staff positions are filled, the Executive Director will engage, motivate, supervise, and evaluate such staff. S/he will also provide valuable input in the renovation project.
The Executive Director will serve as the Presidio Theatre’s primary liaison to the Presidio Trust, and will ensure the Presidio Theatre is in compliance with the policies of the Presidio Trust and the terms of the Presidio Theatre’s lease, and will play a key role in fostering a productive working relationship between the entities.
The Executive Director will be a visible and enthusiastic representative of the Presidio Theatre within the Presidio and throughout the Bay Area. S/he will develop and maintain productive relationships with local government, business, civic, educational, and other organizations to identify ways to engage and respond to community needs through the arts. S/he will establish the Presidio Theatre as a vibrant center for the arts and community engagement in San Francisco and in the Presidio, the national historic landmark district of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The successful candidate will be a strong leader who combines a broad knowledge of the performing arts, film arts, and speaker series, with a strong record of success in arts presenting, facilities management, fundraising, and audience development. The successful candidate will be skilled and experienced in theatre management and working with community arts groups.
The successful candidate will have the demonstrated ability to manage a start-up and develop organizational infrastructure. S/he will have successful experience with building and engaging a strong not-for-profit board. S/he will be skilled at staff development.
The successful candidate will be a skilled fundraiser with a track record for generating significant support from sponsorships, individual major gifts, and foundation grants. S/he will be willing to invest time and energy in identifying, cultivating, and soliciting donors.
The successful candidate will have strong budgeting and financial management skills.
The successful candidate will exhibit a commitment to diversity and a demonstrated ability to work with individuals of diverse backgrounds. S/he will possess the social skills needed to work effectively with artists and patrons.
The successful candidate will be a creative problem solver and consensus builder. S/he will demonstrate empathy, compassion, patience, and a good sense of humor. The successful candidate will have strong entrepreneurial instincts. S/he will be polite, well-mannered, and personable.
Compensation is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Please prepare a cover letter that describes your specific interest in the Presidio Theate and outlines your qualifications for the position. Send with a resume salary requirements, and contact information for at least three professional references. Electronic submissions are requested. All applications will be treated as confidential and references will not be called without the candidate’s knowledge and agreement.
Please send materials to:
Presidio Theatre – Executive Director
c/o Catherine French Group
2500 Q Street NW, Suite 623
Washington, DC 20007
Please submit material in Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word format, only
Additional Salary Information: Compensation is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Formed in 1998, the Catherine French Group works with symphony orchestras, opera companies, presenting organizations, performing arts centers, music festivals, schools of music, and other music and arts organizations as they recruit chief executives as well as senior management and artistic personnel. The Catherine French Group is based in Washington, DC. Catherine French is founder and principal.... Christopher Wingert joined CFG in 2005 and is Managing Director. Henry Fogel, former CEO of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and now Dean of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, joined CFG to collaborate on projects that have a special focus on music directors and artistic directors.