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The Grove Theater website is currently under construction and hopefully will help address many of these lingering questions. One item I am interested in knowing is when the original hardwood performance stage was ‘walled up’ into order to project movies against. The venue was a performance hall prior to becoming a theater, and violin virtuoso Isaac Stern once played on that stage during the war.
The original 1-2-3 theater arrangement is a little misleading. It was once large auditorium used for concerts, then later movies. (I think the films began toward the end of the war.) In the mid 1970’s, the auditorium was split into two screens and it is possible the old hardwood stage was walled up then, but I am still searching blueprints for an answer to that question. In 1979, they added a third screen, then as Oak Ridge Cinema Inc. was being bought out by Cinemark, four more screens were added but used for under one year. The building sat vacant for six years and was severely vandalized prior to the 2004 purchase by High Places.
Hopefully, we can have a link up here with photographs pre and post restoration very soon.