PC leaders say a downtown icon is coming back – WMBB – mypanhandle.com

PC leaders say a downtown icon is coming back – WMBB – mypanhandle.com

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — An art deco landmark that was damaged by Hurricane Michael will be rebuilt.

City leaders say they are working with their insurance company and FEMA to bring the Martin Theatre back.

“It’s the perfect midsize venue. perfectly located in the middle of downtown. I’m excited to see what the next phase, its hard to be without it right now but excited to see it come back to its former glory,” said Jason Hedden, the chair of visual and performing arts at Gulf Coast State College.

Fans of the theatre and local performers say it is an essential part of the city.

“There wasn’t a bad seat in the house,” Hedden recalled. “It felt intimate but yet it was big enough that you could bring in some mid to larger size acts and really do something special. So it’s an essential sort of intimate venue.”

The city is already working to restore the outside of the facility. They say it will look nearly the same. right down to the famous art deco glass.

“The reason we didn’t want to take it down have it demoed it’s an icon to this community its got immense local history associated with it. It’s got immense function that’s been enjoyed by this community and the arts community and helping to create that quality of life we’re seeking in the downtown,” said City Manager Mark McQueen. “So it was too important to this community to tear it down.”

City leaders say they also are going to make the building ADA compliant and expand where they can in hopes of making the martin more than a theatre.

“We’re looking at modifying the layout of the Martin Theatre to help improve meeting space, receptions, having wedding receptions there. Having business after-hours events there,” McQueen said. “Just having it where it not just only for performances but have multiple facilities.”

This reconstruction will support other work as developers bring in new businesses and restore old ones.

“I think it could not be a more optimistic time for downtown Panama City,”

The ultimate cost and timeline for construction are still unknown.

City officials are asking FEMA to cover some of the expenses but say they promise theatre lovers will still love the martin.

“Every downtown has a space like that of a city this size that one was ours and it’s special and I can’t wait for it to be back,” Hedden said.


Walton Theatre: Keeping The Stage Lights On For Over 100 Years – WICZ

Walton Theatre: Keeping The Stage Lights On For Over 100 Years – WICZ


The Walton Theatre stands tall with its red brick and white columns. Built over 100 years ago, it’s a relic of a bygone era, but still very much the center of a community. 

Inside the lobby, we’re greeted by Jim Richardson and Lisa Favret… and the sound of a table saw humming above our heads. Restoration work is currently going on in the balcony. 

“We’re putting in new seating,” says Favret, “And the wings, we’re putting in some high top tables and chairs.”

Favret, Richardson, and the crew working upstairs are part of the Walton Theatre Preservation Association, a group formed to restore the old theater to its former glory. 

The theater was built in 1914 to replace one that burned down on the spot two years earlier. On opening night, it’s said it was standing room only, with over 1,000 people packed into the theater that only seats about 500. 

The theater attracted traveling acts and also screened films. The building was, and still is, owned by the village. 

“And that was not unusual at that time because theaters were so important as a community thing,” says Richardson.

It still is. It’s community members like Richardson and Favret who keep the theater running. The efforts to start restoring the building started in 1986. The building was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1984. 

“It was in such disrepair,” says Favret. 

The restoration turned into a sort of treasure hunt, with things being discovered along the way that had been hidden over the years. 

Cleaning the walls of layers of cigar smoke revealed beautiful hand-stenciled designs. When crews were refurbishing the lobby, they found original stained glass windows that had been covered over with black velvet to darken the theater for movie showings. 

“That was a really good find,” says Favret.

Downstairs in a dressing room, 1920s and 1930s graffiti was discovered. A wooden plank on the dressing room wall is signed by acts who performed at the theater. Richardson says they researched some of them. A group called Si Tompkins and his Rusty Reubens brought their cowboy musical and vaudeville act to the theater in the 30s. They signed the board, and, below their names, listed the call letters for radio stations they also worked on.

“Shows would come in on the train, do a little show, head out the following morning,” says Richardson.

Signatures from traveling acts from the 1920s and 1930s are still on the walls in a backstage dressing room. 

Up a winding, spiral staircase that takes you high above the stage, there are more dressing rooms. Looking up, you can see the remains of pully systems that would have been used for sets. 

Richardson says the original stage was much deeper, but it was boxed in at some point to make it smaller. More changes happened when the theater became exclusively a movie house, no longer putting on stage shows. A screen went up, blocking the stage from use. 

You can still see first run and re-released films at the Walton Theatre, but now they’re played on a retractable screen that can go up when they need the stage for other performances. A room upstairs is reserved for more intimate musical performances. They call that space the coffeehouse. 

“We are really one of the luckiest villages to have this because people had to tear them down,” says Favret, “They couldn’t afford the projectors, they couldn’t afford to restore.”

So, what makes the Walton Theatre an exception? The community. Richardson and Favret say so many have given money and their time to keep the stage lights on. When they needed a new projector in 2012, checks came in from all over the country. They raised $100,000 in just five months. 

It really does take a village. 



MOTHER JONES IN HEAVEN, A Musical by Si Kahn, is Coming to Bridge Street Theatre in March – Broadway World

MOTHER JONES IN HEAVEN, A Musical by Si Kahn, is Coming to Bridge Street Theatre in March

Catskill’s adventurous Bridge Street Theatre celebrates Women’s History Month by hosting a touring production of Si Kahn’s rousing “Mother Jones in Heaven”. Starring Vivian Nesbitt (“Breaking Bad”) accompanied by guitarist John Dillon (“Art of the Song” on NPR), this one-woman musical about the notorious labor organizer famed for her tireless efforts on behalf of the rights of miners, mill workers, and child laborers will be presented on BST’s newly-re-christened Charles and Priscilla Patterson Mainstage for three performances only, March 13-15, 2020.

With one foot in the folk tradition of storytelling and acoustic guitars, and the other in the truly American art of musical theater, the show opens as Mary Harris “Mother” Jones arrives in heaven to discover that it happens to be virtually identical to her favorite Irish Pub back down on Earth. Over the course of this 80-minute intermissionless performance, she re-visits her life, with moments of profound insight intermingled with hilarious tales of a self-admitted hellion in her prime. Dubbed ‘The Most Dangerous Woman in America’ by a West Virginia judge because she could get 8000 men to walk out on strike at the crook of her little finger, Mother Jones was ‘the grandmother of all agitators’ during the late 19th and early 20th century – feared, revered and lauded in song and story.

This tour of “Mother Jones in Heaven” is sponsored in part by The American Labor Studies Center (ALSC) a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to create, collect and disseminate labor history and labor studies curriculum materials and resources to K-12 teachers nationwide through this web site and via conferences, workshops, seminars and exhibits and to restore the Kate Mullany National Historic Site in Troy, New York where it is located.

As timely today as it was when “Mother” Jones was organizing the working class a hundred years ago, “Mother Jones in Heaven” plays Friday March 13 and Saturday March 14 at 7:30pm and Sunday March 15 at 2:00 on Bridge Street Theatre’s Charles and Priscilla Patterson Mainstage, located at 44 West Bridge Street in Catskill. Tickets are $20, $10 for Students ages 21 and under, and can be purchased in advance at motherjones.brownpapertickets.com or by calling 800-838-3006. Tickets can also be purchased at the door one half hour prior to each performance on a space available basis. For more details, visit the theatre’s website at bridgest.org/mother-jones-in-heaven/.

Events at Bridge Street Theatre are supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by Public Funds from the Greene County Legislature through the Cultural Fund administered in Greene County by the Greene County Council on the Arts.

Vivian Nesbitt and John Dillon star in Si Kahn’s musical “Mother Jones in Heaven”

Performance Calendar:

Vivian Nesbitt (“Breaking Bad”) is
A Musical by Si Kahn
Directed by Jo Johnson
with John Dillon on guitar
Friday March 13 @ 7:30pm
Saturday March 14 @ 7:30pm
Sunday March 15 @ 2:00pm
The Charles and Priscilla Patterson Mainstage
Bridge Street Theatre
44 West Bridge Street, Catskill, NY


Advance tickets available at http://motherjones.brownpapertickets.com or by calling 800-838-3006

Tickets can also be purchased at the door one half hour prior to each performance on a space available basis General Admission $20, $10 for students

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India to set up separate theatre command for J&K: CDS – The Kashmir Monitor

India to set up separate theatre command for J&K: CDS – The Kashmir Monitor

Srinagar, Feb 17:  Jammu and Kashmir government is approaching big corporate houses to make Global Investors Summit 2020 a runaway success.

Around 54 top officers have been deputed to interact with business houses and convince them to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government.

On Monday, the government began road shows in Bengaluru and Kolkata as succeeding event to the grand curtain raiser heralding the J&K Government’s first Investors’ Summit.


The road shows are aimed to allow prospective investors have a dialogue on the immense investment opportunities presented by the verdant region.

In Kolkata, Advisor to Governor, Kewal Kumar Sharma was at the forefront of the road show where many local corporate houses interacted with officials to enquire about scope of investment in J&K.

Speaking on the occasion, Sharma emphasised that “A new version of J&K – J&K 2.0 is all set to emerge as the UT is now at par with rest of India.”  He further remarked that every district of Jammu and Kashmir has a distinct heritage, culture & history and huge untapped potential.

The Government led Industrial delegation including Manzoor Ahmad Lone, Secretary, Agriculture and Horticulture; Simrandeep Singh, MD, JK ITIDC; Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, DC Srinagar; Anoo Malhotra, Director, Industries & Commerce, Jammu; Atul Sharma, MD, SICOP with other senior Government officials addressed the gathering.

Prominent industrialists  Vikram Gupta, MD Airmesh;  Satish Koul, Resident Director Emcure along with J&K bank, tourism representatives were also present.

Managing Director, Jammu and Kashmir Trade Promotion Organization (JKTPO) Ravinder Kumar told The Kashmir Monitor that at least 140 corporates participated in the Kolkata road show.

“Today we conducted programmes in Kolkata where 140 people participated. They were positive about investing in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Kumar said the officials are meeting corporate houses to instill confidence and encourage them to pledge investment in the UT. “First an invitation is being sent to the corporate houses. Later we hold one-to-one meeting with them,” he said.

The government has created a MoU to liaison with investors interesting to invest in Jammu and Kashmir.  “A nodal officer is deputed in MoU cell who oversees the entire process of dealing with the interesting Corporates,” he said.

Kumar said most of the investors have shown interest in investing in Education and Tourism sector.

“The administration informed the investors about incentives and prospectus of their business in the newly declared Union Territory,” they said.

Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary, Planning Development and Monitoring Department made a detailed presentation on investment opportunities in J&K; he highlighted 14 distinct sectors including tourism, education, healthcare and infrastructure which presented the greatest opportunities for potential investors.

He also made a reference to the investor friendly policies and sector specific policies. He elaborated that with an aim to make Jammu and Kashmir an industrial hub more than 48 investible projects and new 14 focus sector have been identified, which are investor-friendly and easy to business. 6000 + Acres of industrial and sector-specific land bank has been identified to attract large, mega and small industries to create more employment opportunities in the newly formed UT.

JKTPO has also started its Investment Facilitation Cell at Delhi and also planning same for Jammu & Srinagar.

The Presentation was followed by film on UT of J&K and a presentation on IT Sector by Simrandeep Singh, MD JK ITIDC.

“We are coming up with two IT parks with plug and play facility and are also in process of finalizing our new industrial promotion policy,” informed  Bipul Pathak, Principal Secretary – IT, J&K. He also highlighted that there are immense opportunities for skilled manpower in the UT and the government is offering productive incentives and relaxations in several industry sectors.

“The Union Territory of J&K is one of the best destinations in the country for setting up residential schools, smart schools, skill centres,” opined  Hirdesh Kumar, Commissioner Secretary, School Education who led the Road show held  at Kolkata for the upcoming Jammu and Kashmir Global Investors’ Summit.

“We are confident that such steps coupled with the Central Governments and UT Administration’s efforts to restore normalcy in J&K will soon create an environment for attracting industry to the UT,” said Sandipan Chakravortty, Past Chairman, CII Eastern Region while addressing the gathering.

During Road show at Kolkata a detailed presentation was made by Ravinder Kumar, MD, JKTPO, which highlighted all the 14 Focus sectors and initiatives taken by Government to improve industrial ecosystem in UT. It was followed by UT J&K film and presentation on Tourism Sector by Zubair Ahmad, Administrative Secretary, Tourism. Also prominent industrialists Gagan Jain, Director VKC Nuts Pvt Ltd were present during the sessions.

These parallel road-shows consist of a series of round-table discussions and networking opportunities including G2B, B2G and B2B meetings, all conducted via strategic sector-specific sessions to maximise industrial growth and employment opportunities. The event was attended by 245 delegates and 33 B2G meetings were held. 34 no of MoU with total worth of 2847 crores were signed during both parallel road shows.

Some prominent industry groups present were Phillips Carbon Black Ltd, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Limited , Pearl tree Hotels & Resorts, Sasa Chakra Infrastructure, Triumph Hotels & Asset Management, Toyota Kirloskar, Flipkart, Oracle India, Big Basket, Cropnosys, Indus Valley Ayurvedic Centre, Arvind Mills etc. In addition, Flipkart committed market access through its Samarth portal. Oracle proposed an excellence centre and collaboration with educational institutions to provide free software support as part of its Oracle academy.

Kashmir Inc. however said the government should ease off the stress of local business houses before inviting outsiders to invest in J&K.

“Calling investors is a good decision but practically condition of local businessmen is very bad.  Our losses have piled up to more than Rs 20,000 crores and the situation on ground is not feasible for business,” said Nasir Hamid Khan, senior vice president KCCI.

 Traders from Jammu division on the other hand are riding high on government’s initiative, claiming it will generate employment.

India to set up separate theatre command for J&K: CDS

The Monon Theatre is getting a facelift – wlfi.com

The Monon Theatre is getting a facelift – wlfi.com

WHITE COUNTY, Ind.(WLFI)—A historic theater in White County is getting a facelift. The Monon Civic Preservation Society raised more than $250,000 to restore The Monon Theater. It’s a part of history they want to save.

“More than ten years ago it was abandoned,” said Secretary for the Monon Civic Preservation Society Julie Gutwein.

They are working to revamp the historic theatre that has been a part of the community since the 1930s.

“One of our members, the vice president, made the suggestion that we should buy it,” said Gutwein. “But it had a ten-year non-compete so there was nothing we could do with it.”

The non-compete clause came after the theatre closed its doors back in 2005. That’s when the previous owners moved to another community to build another facility. The Monon Civic Preservation Society purchased the building in 2013.

“We’ve had fundraisers, we’ve had grants, we’ve started working – we have volunteer labor,” said Gutwein.

President for the Monon Civic Preservation Society Dick Stimmel said they’ve already taken care of the largest expense of the renovation, spending $60,000 to repair the roof.

“When we purchased the theatre there were two places that in the auditorium roof you could throw a car through,” said Stimmel.

With designs completed for the inside of the theatre. It’s set to have a railroad theme inspired by Monon’s railroad history.

“We hope that it’ll be kind of self-fulfilling where it will draw people in the involvement and the backing and so forth from the community members,” said Stimmel.

The next step is to repair the entrance and slowly move inside. The preservation society says the goal is to bring back a piece of history for the community.

“They’ll be able to come to the theatre for movies, for events, and be a place of center for the community together,” said Gutwein.

The preservation society is also allowing people to purchase seats inside the theatre. The seats will have plaques in remembrance of a loved one.


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