Volunteers invited to help restore Pix Theatre

Volunteers invited to help restore Pix Theatre

NAMPA — The Pix Anew — formally the Pix Theatre Foundation — is hosting a meeting on Feb. 10 to organize volunteers and move forward with a plan to restore the more than 70-year-old theater to its former glory.

The theater was bought by Debbie Lasher-Hardy in February 2016.

The foundation had raised the $1.5 million necessary to revive the Pix Theatre when the roof collapsed in 2003. The roof was replaced in 2006, but the expense left board members struggling to break even with fundraising costs, insurance, taxes and other expenses.

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After buying the theater, Lasher-Hardy had to put the project on hold to help her mother who had leukemia. Her mother died in July.

Lasher-Hardy is again at work on the Pix, including organizing several committees that provide ideas on how to restore the building, she said.

At the upcoming Saturday meeting, Pix Anew will move forward with some of those ideas and meet with any volunteers willing to give their time, including electricians, painters, grant writers or anyone with ideas.

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According to Lasher-Hardy, the project will likely cost $2-$3 million depending on how much help Pix Anew can get from volunteers.

Once the building is restored, Lasher-Hardy wants to provide the community with a variety of performances including theatrical arts, live music and classical movies.

“I would like to see more art and more availability of arts of all kinds in Nampa,” Lasher-Hardy said.

According to Lasher-Hardy, having a versatile theatre in Nampa would keep residents from needing to commute to Boise for entertainment.

“A lot Nampa people don’t want to go as far as Boise and they don’t want to be caught up in the Boise atmosphere,” said Lasher-Hardy.

Pix Anew has requested that all volunteers be over the age of 18 have a valid ID, proof of insurance and contact information.

https://www.idahopress.com/news/local/2cscoop/volunteers-invited-to-help-restore-pix-theatre/article_571393a1-2109-5e4c-a4fb-73ab665aadd8.html

Help with restoration: Purdue engineering students to study Logansport theater

Help with restoration: Purdue engineering students to study Logansport theater

LOGANSPORT — Ninety-five young minds will spend the next few months studying Logansport’s only historic theater, determining how best to restore the more than century old building.

Civil engineering students from Purdue University visited the State Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 23 to examine the building that’s operated as a theater since 1940. The students, mainly college seniors, are focusing on the theater for their semester-long engineering capstone project.

Robert Jacko, professor of civil engineering and instructor of the capstone class, said shortly after he looked at the theater last summer as a prospective class project, he realized the building was the perfect place for students to conduct a structural analysis for the university course.

On Tuesday, students wore hard hats and shined flashlights in every nook and cranny of the theater, checking the foundation, walls, roof, HVAC and water filtration system.

“I told them stick their noses in and just look, and get familiar,” Jacko said.

The students, who have been studying the theater’s blueprints so far this semester as preparation for Tuesday’s visit, are split into 15 groups, each focused on different aspects of the theater. Some students have specialties not just in structural engineering, but transportation, foundation, environmental, architectural and other fields. They’ll present their findings at the end of the semester.

The theater’s incessant issues with the water system is what connected the State Theatre Preservation Society, the nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring the theater, with Purdue.

Barry Taylor, treasurer and chief financial officer of the nonprofit, said the organization had approached the city to find a way to eliminate the problem with water emptying into the basement, especially during storms. Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell later asked Jacko if he would be interested in his students analyzing the water system for a class project, in order to find a possible solution.

Taylor said in addition to the water filtration system, theater officials are also looking at possibly putting solar panels on the roof to offset the cost of electricity.

“Everything that they’re going to put together for us might end up giving us ideas we haven’t thought of, and I think that’s probably the coolest thing,” Taylor said about the project.

Some students, Jacko said, will determine whether to build more green spaces around the theater and look at the best traffic flow for transportation and parking.

Purdue seniors Kevin Thomas, David Magarici and Austin Zitelli are focusing on how to best lay out the theater’s amenities, as well as the building’s structural work. Magarici, 21, said

he noticed the roof is well supported by the exterior walls, but many of the bricks aren’t holding up.

Thomas, 21, said they discussed expanding the concessions area of the theater and moving the bar upstairs to a balcony area. Thomas said they want the building to be multi- use.

“We also want to create that opportunity for other local businesses to come in and help build the community and contributing and make it a nice place to be,” Thomas said.

Zitelli, 22, said most senior design teams have completed projects on new buildings, so working on one as old as the State will be a different experience. And since the State Theater is on the Indiana and National Register of Historic Places, they have to follow specific guidelines in order to keep it on the registry.

The building formerly was the four-story Seybold’s Dry Good Store in the late 1880s. It was then purchased and renovated into a two-story movie theater that opened in 1940.

Mark Bowman, professor of civil engineering and also a structural engineer, is a native of Logansport and used to often watch movies at the State Theatre growing up. He’s going to lecture the students in the class in a few weeks about the building’s structure and beams.

“It’s neat that they’re trying to restore it,” Bowman said. “I think that’s fantastic.”

http://www.suncommercial.com/news/article_6c8243d0-05f9-11e8-9880-dbf9a9239567.html

London, Ont., school board restores funding for musical about gay prom date

London, Ont., school board restores funding for musical about gay prom date

After a week of backlash, London, Ont.’s Thames Valley District School Board has reversed its decision to drop funding for the Grand Theatre production of a musical about a gay student’s fight to bring his date to the prom.

The public board will give $15,000 for the production of Prom Queen: The Musical, set to be staged this fall. 

“We must be clear to the community that a mistake was made in this case. While our administration had the best of intentions, the actions were unfortunately viewed by those in the public as rooted in homophobia, and for this I am sorry,” said Matt Reid, the chair of the board of trustees. 

Matt Reid Thames Valley District School Board

School board chair Matt Reid spoke of the importance of sharing LGBTQ stories with the public. (Paula Duhatschek/CBC News)

Director of education Laura Elliott decided to pull the funding in December, and it was supposed to remain confidential until February, she said Tuesday night. 

Trustees didn’t have a hand in the move and didn’t find out about it until CBC London broke the story Jan. 17. 

Elliott has denied requests for an interview. 

In a passionate speech, Reid drew on his own experiences as a gay student at Thames Valley while denouncing the administration’s decision.

“I remember all too well, 14 years ago while I was a student trustee, watching as trustees stood up against the homophobic hate that was directed to us when we chose to pass a safe school policy that protected our gay and lesbian students,” said Reid.

“I remember the emails from religious leaders and the public telling us we’d be going to hell if we passed that policy and I remember how proud I was when love won over hate.”

The staging of Prom Queen: The Musical, will be another historic moment for members of the LGBTQ community, Reid said. 

The play tells the true story of Marc Hall, a teen in Oshawa who successfully fought the Durham Region Catholic School Board in 2002 for the right to bring his boyfriend to the prom. 

‘Our job isn’t to censor’

Both Thames Valley and the London District Catholic School Board said the issue wasn’t the gay character, but rather the language and negative portrayals of adults in the play that caused concern. 

Elliott was a superintendent with the Durham region public school board in 2002 while the Hall court case was happening. It’s unclear if or how that experience in Oshawa shaped the decision to pull funding. 

At Tuesday night’s meeting, trustee Peter Jaffe emphasized the school board’s history of using theatre to address controversial topics. 

“When we do a play on family violence, we’re not generalizing to all families and all parents,” said Jaffe. 

“When we do a play on sexual abuse, whether the perpetrator is an educator, or a parent or a religious leader, we’re not generalizing those people—we’re sharing very important messages.”

Jaffe said the schools’ role is not to censor these messages, but to make sure that students are able to understand them in an age-appropriate way and make connections with their curriculum. 

He said that when sensitive topics do come up in a performance, the school board’s role is to ensure students have parental consent, and that they are prepared for the performance and have time to debrief after the fact.

‘I was voted prom queen but they did not give it to me’

Cody Neville

The controversy around Prom Queen: The Musical hit close to home for Cody Neville, who says he was voted prom queen at his own high school prom in 2010, but was instead awarded the title ‘prom prince.’ (Paula Duhatschek/CBC News)

The controversy around Prom Queen: The Musical was particularly topical for Cody Neville of Tillsonburg, Ont.

Neville is gay and acted as a student trustee representing rural schools during the 2009-2010 school year.

He said he was voted prom queen at his high school prom in 2010, but the school instead awarded him prom prince.

“We are moving forward, but there’s still work to be done because just seven years ago that happened in our very own board,” said Neville.

Neville said he saw the board’s reversal as “two little steps forward,” but said that the decision to withdraw funding shouldn’t have been made in the first place.

Given that a crowdfunding campaign has already raised more than $58,000 for the production, Neville said he would like the board’s additional money to go towards LGBTQ organizations and outreach for rural youth.

“There’s so many resources that our youth can access that I think are underfunded [and] that could really help us continue to move forward.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/thames-valley-school-board-restore-prom-queen-the-musical-funding-1.4500443

State of the structure: Purdue engineering students to study Logansport theater

State of the structure: Purdue engineering students to study Logansport theater

Ninety-five young minds will spend the next few months studying Logansport’s only historic theater, determining how best to restore the 77-year-old building.

Civil engineering students from Purdue University visited the State Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 23 to examine the building that’s operated as a theater since 1940. The students, mainly college seniors, are focusing on the theater for their semester-long engineering capstone project.

Robert Jacko, professor of civil engineering and instructor of the capstone class, said shortly after he looked at the theater last summer as a prospective class project, he realized the building was the perfect place for students to conduct a structural analysis for the university course.

On Tuesday, students wore hard hats and shined flashlights in every nook and cranny of the theater, checking the foundation, walls, roof, HVAC and water filtration system.

“I told them stick their noses in and just look, and get familiar,” Jacko said.

The students, who have been studying the theater’s blueprints so far this semester as preparation for Tuesday’s visit, are split into 15 groups, each focused on different aspects of the theater. Some students have specialties not just in structural engineering, but transportation, foundation, environmental, architectural and other fields. They’ll present their findings at the end of the semester.

The theater’s incessant issues with the water system is what connected the State Theatre Preservation Society, the nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring the theater, with Purdue. Pharos-Tribune editor Kevin Burkett also volunteers as president and CEO of the preservation society.

Barry Taylor, treasurer and chief financial officer of the nonprofit, said the organization had approached the city to find a way to eliminate the problem with water emptying into the basement, especially during storms. Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell later asked Jacko if he would be interested in his students analyzing the water system for a class project, in order to find a possible solution.

Taylor said in addition to the water filtration system, theater officials are also looking at possibly putting solar panels on the roof to offset the cost of electricity.

“Everything that they’re going to put together for us might end up giving us ideas we haven’t thought of, and I think that’s probably the coolest thing,” Taylor said about the project.

Some students, Jacko said, will determine whether to build more green spaces around the theater and look at the best traffic flow for transportation and parking.

Purdue seniors Kevin Thomas, David Magarici and Austin Zitelli are focusing on how to best lay out the theater’s amenities, as well as the building’s structural work. Magarici, 21, said he noticed the roof is well supported by the exterior walls, but many of the bricks aren’t holding up.

Thomas, 21, said they discussed expanding the concessions area of the theater and moving the bar upstairs to a balcony area. Thomas said they want the building to be multi-use.

“We also want to create that opportunity for other local businesses to come in and help build the community and contributing and make it a nice place to be,” Thomas said.

Zitelli, 22, said most senior design teams have completed projects on new buildings, so working on one as old as the State will be a different experience. And since the State Theater is on the Indiana and National Register of Historic Places, they have to follow specific guidelines in order to keep it on the registry.

The building represents an “outstanding example” of the Art Deco style popular when it was built, according to National Register documentation on Logansport’s Courthouse Historic District, of which the theater is part.

Mark Bowman, professor of civil engineering and also a structural engineer, is a native of Logansport and used to often watch movies at the State Theatre growing up. He’s going to lecture the students in the class in a few weeks about the building’s structure and beams.

“It’s neat that they’re trying to restore it,” Bowman said. “I think that’s fantastic.”

Each semester, the capstone class focuses on a different place in the state. Jacko said they’ve studied wind turbines, highways, water plants and wetlands. What makes the State Theatre project unique, he said, is it being a historic building. Many civil engineers specialize in restoring old buildings, something that might pique the interest of one of the students.

“How often do you have a laboratory experiment like this for students?” Jacko said. “You just don’t.”

Reach Ben Middelkamp at [email protected] or 574-732-5117.

http://www.pharostribune.com/news/local_news/article_824d4ab5-b667-5a65-b2f9-609180307714.html

Restoration project lifts grand old theatre complex in Joburg

Restoration project lifts grand old theatre complex in Joburg

The complex will house a theatre, rehearsal spaces, libraries, a research centre and an art exhibition space. Its new tagline is, “More than a Theatre”.

There are not many buildings of such architectural appeal in Johannesburg, as they become victims of a gentrification wave. While some visionary developers try to maintain original architecture, others demolish older buildings to make room for new ones whose architectural forms leave a lot to be desired.

The section that will house the Windybrow theatre will be the next phase of the restoration, says Gwangwa.

A lot is at stake in restoring Windybrow, as it has for decades been the problem child of SA’s publicly funded theatres. Over the years, it has reeled from one crisis to another. attracting headlines for all the wrong reasons and seldom because of the success of the productions it hosted.

Now a huge effort and massive resources are being pumped into the space to make it work again, and become a functional centre where the inner city’s arts can shine again. This includes employing fresh brains with even fresher ideas that will attract audiences.

The Market Theatre Foundation. which now has Windybrow under its umbrella, appointed Gwangwa, daughter of jazz trombonist Jonas Gwangwa and social activist Violet Gwangwa, as the head of the Windybrow Arts Centre.

Until a few years ago, it was an independent state-owned theatre with its own board, enjoying its independence and status just like the Market Theatre, The Playhouse, Artscape, The State Theatre and the Performance Arts Centre of Free State.

Windybrow was mothballed about four years ago amid allegations of maladministration and corruption. Millions of rand meant for the rehabilitation of the heritage building allegedly vanished under its previous management.

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/life/arts-and-entertainment/2018-01-23-restoration-project-lifts-grand-old-theatre-complex-in-joburg/

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