More Cloudy News for Huntington’s Keith Albee

posted by TonyRutherford on April 5, 2004 at 7:56 am

HUNTINGTON, WV — During a town meeting, several townspeople expressed their concerns that the federally funded Pullman Square development with its 16 screen movie theatre would have an adverse impact on the 1928 Thomas Lamb Keith-Albee theater, according to a report in the Herald Dispatch.

The Transit Authority which will receive rent money from the new theatre seemed glib. Vicki Shaffer, President of the Transit Authority, admitted the Keith had not been properly considered under federal historic preservation laws. “The devil is in the details,” she admitted. Keith lovers should be working the emails and phone lines to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Advisory Council for Historic Preservation. The Herald Dispatch finally ran a story about the Keith’s “cloudy” future.

Derek Hyman, president of the Greater Huntington Theatre Corp., said Friday he expects the Keith-Albee to continue showing movies even after the new multiplex opens, but the Marshall Artist Series will have to find a new home for its stage productions after the first of the year. Even if it remains open as a movie theater, the Keith-Albee’s future is uncertain, Hyman said.

“In the long run, it’s not the solution for the theater,” Hyman said. “We’re not going to be able to make capital improvements. If we have a major equipment breakdown, it might push us over the edge.” Mr Hyman admitted that a performing arts center might be the best solution, but said he did not know how to run a non-profit center or skill to work with politicians to raise money.

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