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Correction in the above information regarding the Baker Orpheum Theater. A grant was received from the Ford Family Foundation also.
The Baker Orpheum Theater project is moving along nicely. The group has had monthly meetings since March and the building has been deconstructed to the walls. Larry Nicholson architect from Portland completed the feasibility study and grants were submitted for further work. So far the Oregon Community Fund has given a grant along with the Oregon Community Fund. At present Eastern Oregon Regional Theater is waiting for a Leo Adler grant that was applied for. The Leo Adler grant will help pay for the next phase which will be removing the asbestos from the building and removing the false floor to reveal the slope. The plans call for a theater of about 380 seats with a larger stage, new balcony, and many other professional quality features. An acoustics professional will work on the auditorium so as to have top notch sound. The 50’s Baker marquee will return with Orpheum in the space between the reader boards and Baker in big letters above the reader boards as it was after the renovation in the late 40’s. A dinner theater benefit was held at the Geiser Grand on November 12, 2016 and was well attended! The community has embraced the project and is very excited to see it return.
David Burris donated money to buy the Orpheum building to Eastern Oregon Regional Theatre in May. Renovation has started and the retail store partitions have been removed as well as the false ceiling which has opened up the auditorium. The beautiful murals are now visible. The renovation will be done in phases. The Baker marquee will be restored with the addition of the right edge bottom of the Baker letters of the Orpheum name…thus the remembrance of the 30’s Orpheum and the 40’s and 50’s Baker on the new signage. The theater will show case plays by EORT as well as local music groups and will bring in entertainers as well. It will be an extraordinary attraction for downtown Baker City!
I honestly think that the studios have tried to destroy theatrical circuits…they have shortened the time between release in theatres and home rental release to almost nothing. You have to remember these organizations are ran by corporate people similar to other industries in the United States. These people do not care where the money comes from as long as they get it…not much loyalty to the theatrical people. Another issue I agree with is that some theatres need to crack down the texting and playing around….our theatre has done that. I love the new digital projections systems and sound…wonderful improvement over the poor prints that the studios shipped out and didn’t care if they had scratches and were bad to watch…unlike the old days when they cared. I have a wonderful in home theatre but nothing compares with seeing a film on a huge screen with other people, plus I get out of the house. The problem I have however is that most of the films are not worth paying to see so I am picky….Special FX loaded films turn me off, 3D gives me a headache and I am not interested in paying to see it when it only is useful in some instances according to the film…waste of time on others. So I beg to differ with these two regarding ticket costs…I personally would never pay those kinds of prices to see any film and not a comic book film they have made 40 sequels to.