Above: Dan Speca, front left, with several other members of the Greenwich Odeum board.
The Town Council presented resident Dan Speca with a commendation at its meeting Monday “for his five years serving as president of the Greenwich Odeum. Dan has accomplished great things as leader of the Odeum with the greatest being successfully navigating the theater through the pandemic 2020-2021.”
Like all other performing arts venues, the Odeum was hit hard by the COVID-19 restrictions. Ironically, the theater had only just same month of March 2020 opened its newly renovated balcony space with additional seating. But the Odeum pivoted quickly, renting out its marquee, selling merchandise, and renting out the theater itself – when that became possible – for small parties.
Board member Kevin Muoio spoke about Speca’s numerous contributions at Monday’s meeting (see below). Congrats, Dan!
Congratulations and THANK YOU to Dan, the Board, and the Odeum staff, for navigating the theater through these challenging times (and probably especially challenging for a theater). I can’t imagine the countless things, and the little things, you all do to keep the theater going. The Odeum has truly transformed over the past 5 years, benefitting not only its patrons, but other businesses on Main Street as well. East Greenwich is lucky to have you!
Amazing, amazing, amazing! All of you who have put your hearts and souls into the theatre, a huge thank you. And you too, Doug Truesdell!!!
The story of the Odeum Theater is unfortunately one of pain for a good friend of mine Steve Erinakes. Anyone who knows Steve knows what a huge heart he has. He has always helped folks in town and his charity is legendary. He and his family owned the local theaters for decades. When times changed and local theaters were taken over by the Showcase and other big chain theaters the Main Street buildings were outdated and eventually the Greenwich Theater was turned into the Odeum. During this process Steve was forced out in a nasty legal battle that he eventually lost, The case has really taken a toll on him. He feels betrayed and victimized by the chain of events which lead to the takeover of his family’s building.
So any accolades bestowed upon this organization will always have a dark cloud over them in my humble opinion until the board comes to terms with Steve and helps to resolve the ugly past and move forward.
Bob, This is well put and Steve (and family) was taken advantage of. It is very similar to the events of damage to Sarah’s Trace and the damage of our homes during new Cole construction and the deceitful fraudulent actions and inactions of the elected officials and volunteers! Ugly events like this do take a toll and NEVER go away in a small town like ours. They take advantage of these situations knowing its wrong. They just close their eyes and hold their snobby noses, Shameful!…but these people have no shame!
Mr Lamendola – the people in this town have heard your story repeatedly over the last several years, and we’ve all probably come to our own opinions on your situation, but most likely don’t have all of the facts. Spend five minutes reading the Odeum’s story, notably the lawsuit that the Erinakes family brought that a judge tossed out, and inform yourself. https://www.independentri.com/independents/north_east/east_greenwich/article_144fc6a1-d997-517f-add9-7e59e4fe0f3c.html
Although I have not been inside the Odeum in a number of years, I have seen the pictures, and I also can observe the impact the theater has on Main St when they have performances. I also remember a dull and listless place that sat dormant for many years.
I have informed myself and feel that, as wonderful the legacy the Erinakes family left in this town with regard to entertainment is, this group is not made up of shameful snobs, but rather caretakers of a 100 year old establishment that I hope will live on for another 100 years. Without this group, we most likely would have a large condo building sitting on this spot.
“FT” or whoever you are, I am well informed on what transpired with the Odeum and the Erinakes family, especially Steve. I am not ashamed to opine on what I see as an unjust situation involving a longtime hardworking EG family who has given back to their community in many ways. I’ve known the family most of my life. You see a court case based on legal technicalities and lawyerly manipulation and I see right and wrong. Obviously, something is amiss if Steve feels victimized and betrayed. I trust him more than you or anyone on the Odeum board or their lawyers!
As to your knowledge of my situation, I can assure you don’t have a clue to what transpired with me and my neighbors, and could care less if you hear it repeatedly. I can guarantee what happened to me and neighbors is disgusting at best…..and ALL the politicians hide and obfuscate . I am also not ashamed to defend my family and rights as well as my neighbors. We didn’t do anything wrong! I have a phone and you can call me anytime if you really want to know the facts, BTW that’s what old-time EG residents would do while I grew up here. They stood up for their residents and didn’t let elected officials, lawyers and contractors take advantage of their citizens. As to Judges and their rulings you obviously aren’t familiar with the RI Judicial system. I have first-hand knowledge.
The Odeum itself is not my issue, it is the treatment of citizens who have been taken advantage of and the inaction to right a wrong. I can tell you it was not a EG trait of years past, as we all knew we lived in a small community and the results thereof.
Please “FT” at least have the courage and character to use you real name if you have an opinion, I have used mine unabashedly and opined. I stand with the Steve and the Erinakes family!
No one took advantage of anyone, Christopher. Are you aware of the series of events that led to the courts deciding in the favor of the Odeum Corporation?
EG NEWS should implement a policy of having to use a person’s real name and identification.