Late in the spring of 1989 the heating plant ceased to function. The management continued to do business through the warm summer months but with the onset of September weather, the house went dark.
Once again there were stirrings of concern within the community, but no consensus emerged. Perhaps in part because of the sad example of the nearby Monte Cristo Hotel, an historic landmark which had languished in a derelict state for a quarter century in spite of periodic attempts to finance renovation, there was skepticism, even cynicism about the theater's viability.
And there was a counter proposal afoot, a plan to build a new stage facility as part of a civic center complex. By odd coincidence, successful rehabilitation of historic theaters was in evidence in just about every major community in Western Washington except Everett, but weeks rolled by and it became clear that city hall would not undertake an Everett Theatre restoration. Arson attempts inflicted minor damage to the building. Then, as the first anniversary of the theater's closure approached and the landmark seemed to dangle as perilously as the endangered heroine of an old melodrama, a group of concerned citizens organized the Everett Theatre Society. They boldly declared their intention to acquire and restore the landmark and return it to use as a live-performance theater and a cornerstone of Everett's historic urban core.