February 9, 2017
From the High Plains Observer Perryton: An effort is underway to revive the Ellis Theater in Perryton, which closed down in the last few months.
Ray Broadbent, his wife Eileen and their family are spearheading the effort. Ray recently shared what exactly will need to be done, how much it is going to cost and what their plans are if they succeed in reopening the theater.
“The first thing we are forming a board and a non-profit organization to run the theater,” Broadbent said. “We do have plans for many other things, but need to get the basics taken care of first.”
He said the roof will need to be replaced and extensive remodeling will need to be done where there has been water damage in the building.
Between the estimate for the roof repair, which will be about $87,000, plus the down payment for the theater itself and the remodeling repairs, Broadbent said they need to raise about $200,000. “We just need 2,000 people to donate $100,” Broadbent said.
They have an account set up at Perryton National Bank if you would like to donate. They also have a dodge ball tournament and volleyball tournament set to raise money as well as bake sales and auctions. You can find out more online when you search for the Save the Ellis Theater Facebook page.
February 3, 2017
From CentralMaine.com: Skowhegan Savings Bank announced Monday it was donating $30,000 toward the restoration and expansion project at the Colonial Theatre in Augusta.
In a statement released by the bank, Senior Vice President of Customer Relations Dan Tilton said when completed, “we feel that the theatre will be a great asset to the community of Greater Augusta and we’re proud to be able to be a part of that.”
Richard Parkhurst, co-chair of the capital campaign to restore the Colonial, said in the release that they were grateful for the bank’s contribution.
“It is truly a gift to the community,” he said.
Located on 139 Water St. in downtown Augusta, the Colonial Theatre was opened in 1913, according to its website. Bill Williamson, whose grandfather founded the Colonial, is co-chairing the campaign. He said the Colonial has been an important gathering place for the community for over 50 years, and this campaign re-imagines it with a plan “that will culturally enrich and drive economic growth for the region.”
“We are very appreciative for Skowhegan Savings Bank’s support and recognition of the importance of the campaign,” Williamson said.
According to the release, once opened, the Colonial will be a cultural venue for film, live performances, digital programming, space for community groups and corporate meetings, and for other charitable events and educational purposes.
Renovations for the theater are expected to take about two years and cost about $8.5 million in total. The building has been vacant since 1969.
January 31, 2017
From the Observer: Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul recited Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address in Gowanda’s Historic Hollywood Theater. However, the normal address ended with a surprising twist.
Hochul added that the Hollywood Theater will receive $324,000 to be applied toward the seating, lighting, carpentry and other items. The news was a part of the Restore New York Communities Initiative.
A total of 75 projects were awarded in all of New York, with three within the local area.
“We’re just ecstatic about it,” Hollywood Theater Board President Mark Burr said after hearing the news.
The additional funds bring the restoration within around $650,000.
January 17, 2017
From KMVT.com: Charmy LeaVell and her husband bough the Schubert Theatre in Gooding in 2008.
“We heard it was going to be turned into a racquetball court so we made an offer on the building,” LeaVell said.
They held it until 2014, when they formed a nonprofit called Gooding Restoration for Entertainment, Arts and Theatre, or GREAT, Inc. and donated to the organization.
They plan to restore the almost 100-year-old theatre which entered the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.
The theatre has seen better days and its age is certainly showing. Frozen water sits in corners, sunlight finds it’s way through cracks and holes and wires hang from the ceiling. This week the basement even flooded.
Then there’s the damage that came from previous owners. When they tried to make the theatre into a place to watch feature films, previous management spray painted over much of the original decorations with black paint.
“A lot of the beauty was covered and we do have to undo a lot of that, we have to undo a lot of damage,” said Diana Rowe, a volunteer with GREAT, Inc.
December 30, 2016
From Newsday: The father-son duo behind the plans to reopen a historic theater in Babylon Village has been awarded a $150,000 grant from New York State in support of the project. The funding will help Mark and Dylan Perlman of Seaford realize their dream of reopening the 94-year-old cinema on Main Street as a year-round professional theater for plays, musicals and other performance arts.
The state grant “allows for some significant project changes to the facility that, in our opinion, will very much enhance the experience for the patrons,” said Mark Perlman, a 63-year-old psychologist. The Perlmans are working to acquire all of the necessary permits to begin construction. They hope to open the venue under the name Argyle Theater at Babylon Village in fall 2017. Village Mayor Ralph Scordino welcomed the news of the grant.
December 19, 2016
From TWCNEWS.com: The former Goodwill Theatre, a nearly century-old building in Johnson City that’s sat vacant for almost 50 years, is set to receive $500,000 from New York State’s latest Regional Economic Development Council awards, but before the theater can cash in, they need to raise enough money to match the award.
December 1, 2016
From the Mail Tribune: Supporters of the restoration of the historic Holly Theatre in downtown Medford announced this week the project has received another $300,000 in donations.
Fundraising is continuing, with supporters hoping to bring in enough money to launch major construction in the months ahead.
“I’m excited, because if we’re able to raise about another $500,000 by the end of the year, we’ll be able to start construction in the first quarter of 2017,” said Randy McKay, executive director of Jefferson Live!, the organization in charge of the restoration. “And that means we’ll be able to be open in early 2018 so the community can come back and enjoy this beautiful place that’s been boarded up for the last 30 years.”
The cost of the restoration is estimated at $4.3 million, although updated bid figures are being sought, McKay said.
November 21, 2016
From wbbjtv.com: The sound of applause will sound ring out again at the historic downtown Bells Theatre. “It’s been closed for 20 years, but the wallpaper, the lights, the seating, the velvet curtains — it’s all right there,” said Mildred Brimm, who says she grew up in the theatre.
Brimm’s grandfather had a store beside the theatre. Now there’s an effort to make Bells Theatre the main attraction again, and it all started over a conversation at lunch.
“We started looking at different places in our cities that maybe we’d forgotten but could be a great tourist attraction or something hidden, we need to bring attention to,” Charlie Moore with the Crockett County Chamber of Commerce said.
That same day, they got the key and unlocked the door to the theatre and saw the work that needed to be done, but Brimm said it brought back so many memories.
“When I walked in, it looked just like it did when I was a child growing up in this town. I could almost smell the popcorn,” Brimm said.
Friday morning, state officials presented a round of grants to the city to make these efforts possible. A $380,000 grant from Tennessee Parks and Recreation, a clean energies grant for $350,000, and a $50,000 check from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Department of Rural Development.
“The mayor referred to us as some bulldogs, and he’s right,” Sarah Conley with Crockett County’s Arts Council said. “We got a hold of this project and we’re not going to let it go until it is completed.”
“They’re determined to do it, and I think they will,” Bells Mayor Joe Williams said.
There is no word yet on when the $1.2 million project will reopen for its second act.
“We’ve got to do it now. If we don’t, small-town America and the feeling of growing up in a small town is going to be lost,” Brimm said.
The project still needs $185,000. If you would like to donate, visit the Facebook Page for the project, Save the Bells Theatre.
November 8, 2016
Allentown, PA - Civic Theatre of Allentown kicking off $5.5 million capital campaign with celebrity support
From The Morning Call: Civic Theatre of Allentown is launching the first major capital campaign in its history in hopes of raising $5.5 million to help restore the historic 19th Street Theatre.
The announcement was made Friday afternoon in a news release announcing the campaign will kick off with “The Next Act … Setting the Stage for the Future,” a Nov. 15 invitation-only event at which actress Christine Taylor, an Allentown Central Catholic graduate and former Civic student, will speak. Taylor is the campaign’s honorary celebrity chairwoman.
Also on the celebrity committee are film and stage actors with area ties and connections to Civic Theatre, including Dane DeHaan, Daniel Roebuck, Kelly Bishop and Anna Wood; Tony Award-winning director and actor Joe Mantello; Tony-nominated costume designer Michael McDonald; Tony-winning playwright and screenwriter Terrence McNally; and comedian/actor Tim Heidecker.
From The Daily Freeman: The owners of the Ulster Performing Arts Center are looking for a private investor to raise nearly $1.4 million for improvements at the Broadway Theater.
Chris Silva, executive director of Bardavon 1869 Opera House Inc., which operates UPAC, said the non-profit theater wants a for-profit investor to funnel $1,393,000 into its coffers. In exchange, he said, the investor would become 99 percent owner and would be able to access state and federal historic tax credits for at least five years as part of a federal program.
The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program “encourages private sector investment in the rehabilitation and re-use of historic buildings,” according to the U.S. Department of Interior’s website.
Under its proposal, Bardavon would continue to operate the theater and make decisions on personnel and artistic matters, Silva said. Theater would remain tax exempt, he said.