The Debbie Reynolds Legacy Studios in September 2017. Photo credit: Dance Network/Kristyn Burtt.
It's hard to believe that in less than three years the Debbie Reynolds Legacy Studio has gone from closing to being saved to being torn down to relocating to temporarily closing again. That's the latest twist in the story of this historic studio.
Dance Network originally covered the story back in October 2017 when the studio was put on the auction block for $6 million less than a year after Debbie Reynolds' passing. It was bought by a developer who was not interested in the Hollywood history of the building where “Thriller” was rehearsed, he was interested in the value of the land for new construction.
The new owner gave Teresa Espinosa, Marie “Maryss From Paris” Wright and her husband, Austin Wright, a year to renovate the Debbie Reynolds Legacy Studios and run the business from the original building. With the studio rights given to them by Debbie Reynolds' son, Todd Fisher, they were off in running by early 2018.
The future of the studio came to an abrupt halt in September 2018 when the building's owner decided to move forward with construction. Teresa came on Dance Network's To The Pointe to talk about the situation.
"We are in round two and a lot of people are telling me to move the floors and I will go there with you. I love the loyalty and I love the support," she said passionately. "For me, if I can do it and not have to come up with $6 million the first time... I'm literally focusing on manifesting saving the studio again."
They weren't able to save the studio in the original North Hollywood location, but gave the building a beautiful send-off with a master class taught by “Thriller” assistant choreographer Vincent Paterson.
The studios eventually rented space at the MKM Cultural Arts Center, formerly Joe Tremaine's studio space, where they got back up and running for almost two years. Now, there is another wrinkle to the story.
On Tuesday, the Debbie Reynolds Legacy Studios posted a message on their Instagram account, "Due to the combination of current events and internal circumstances beyond our control, it is with heavy hearts we regret to inform you Legacy Studios will be ending our run at MKM Cultural Arts Center effective immediately."
As with many businesses, the COVID-19 crisis was one of the reasons the studio had to close. In Los Angeles, gyms and fitness studios were ordered closed by Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Governor Gavin Newsom with the “Stay At Home” orders on Thursday, March 19.
Espinosa continues to have a positive outlook on the situation and promises her students that this is not the end of Debbie Reynolds Legacy Studios. In fact, it's a new beginning.
"We will now be taking this time to create our VISION, which incites imagination and creativity for all Artists. It's time to build OUR HOME," she wrote on the account. "Be on the lookout for updates and info as we move forward to the DREAM!"
To be continued...
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