Holly Theatre Restoration in Line for $1 Million in State Funds
The Holly Theatre, shown here in a 2014 file photo, is in line for a $1 million grant from the state Legislature toward the historic building’s renovations. (Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch)
The Oregon Legislature’s Capital Construction Subcommittee approved a $1 million appropriation during its regular session Thursday morning in Salem. The news follows an announcement Wednesday that philanthropist James Collier will pay for the building’s elevator, a six-figure gift that is the largest single gift to the restoration project.
State Rep. Sal Esquivel, R-Medford, said support for the restoration funding was unanimous during the subcommittee meeting. Esquivel and McKay said there’s been bipartisan support for restoration of the 1930 theater building in the Legislature. Esquivel said Rep. Peter Buckley, D-Ashland, was very helpful, and McKay said Medford Democratic Sen. Alan Bates has toured the building and expressed support.
Among Esquivel’s most powerful childhood memories was seeing “Ben Hur” at the Holly in the 1950s. “I never forgot that,” Esquivel said. “Every time I see the movie I think of the Holly Theatre.”
Esquivel also remembers the Holly as the area’s first theater designed for “talkies.” He recalls that the Holly, which will have seating for nearly 1,000, also was the first theater to use gypsum board, making it more resistant to fire than wooden buildings.
The organization had raised $2 million toward the $4.3 million cost of renovation before the state funding announcement.
Read more in the Mail Tribune article by Nick Morgan. http://www.mailtribune.com/article/20160225/NEWS/160229699
Highlight and right click links to open in a new tab.
ABOUT THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA: Founded by Ben Hall in 1969, the Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) celebrates, documents and promotes the architectural, cultural and social relevance of America’s historic theatres. Through its preservation of the collections in the American Theatre Architecture Archive, its signature publication Marquee™ and Conclave Theatre Tour, THS increases awareness, appreciation and scholarly study of America’s theatres.
Learn more about historic theatres in the THS American Theatre Architecture Archives and on our website at historictheatres.org