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The theatres were sold to a gentleman investor by the name of MOON. He is from Memphis and is responsible for the building of Beale Street what it is today. He has been buying up a lot of properties in Pine Bluff such as the Hotel Pines and dozens of others, but he has been doing it semi-secretly. Its been in the papers but noone has a clue what he wants done with it. That whole downtown section is falling apart. THe ceiling just caved in at the old band museum.
Our Current Mayor in Pine Bluff is Carl Redus. Moon told Redus “The first thing you need to do is write a grant proposal to get the asbestos out of the buildings downtown.”
“We don’t have anyone on our staff that does grant writing” Redus replied.
“Well here is the grant proposal from Memphis. Just change the name of the city and the figures and send it in."
"Im sorry, we just don’t have anyone on any of our staffs that handle that.”
It turns out that Redus and Moon supposedly dated the same girl in high school therefore redus doesn’t want to gove Moon the credit for saving Pine Bluff. Now I don’t know if this is true but I have sources closely associated with the buildings that told me this and other things.
So the dream is over essentially. I went up on the roof and the condition of the roof up there was the last straw. My sister was getting ready to do a story about the buildings for the Commercial when we found out that they were both sold as fast as they could have been. Frankly I was pissed, so I will tell all I know as it is out of their hands now.
I have videos from inside the theatre as well as a lot of pictures of its state that are several months old.
THe community is across the street on the next block. That address is 207 W. Second Street.
Sorry for the bad news.
I now know that the Community and the Saenger are under negotiations for changing hands altogether. Developments as of Wednesday are happening and I will be able to comment on this further in the future.
Heres a shot of the Fascade
A Shot of the Marquee, removed in 1988
Heres the lateral and Posterior view
And a view of the Saenger from Underneath the Marquee of the Community Theatre.
The Theatre is lacking a lot more than a Marquee. It needs about 6 million for a complete restoration, with at least 55,000 for the roof alone. Unfortunately, the grant money is gone and the Pine Bluff Film Festival is over. They are selling the Community THeatre (Oldest 1 screen theatre in Arkansas), to turn it into a bar. The closest thing that it has to a Marquee is a sign that I’ll probably hang within the next few weeks. Heres a picture of the lobby through the window.
Know anyone that wants to make a donation?
Here is the most recent photo of it on the web.
Mr. Beatty; Mr. Curry,
I have spent a couple of afternoons with Ms. Kathleen helping her clean the Community Theatre for its sale. I went to the screening of “The Day the Earth Stood Still” with my 10 year old niece and we met Patricia Neal. I felt so bad because I had to get her home and we had to leave and Prof. Hirsch practically begged us to stay as there was really noone there.
I am from the younger generation and I have recently become infatuated with the Saenger. I have a lot of ideas and Im currently working on a letter to Ms. Kathleen about some of my opinions, comments, suggestions, and a vision for the future. Im trying to get in touch with as many people as possible related to the Pine Bluff Film Festival so that perhaps I can express my concerns and receive feedback on the feasibility of some of my ideas. I need someone to contact me because while I’m beginning to see this as a lost cause, im pretty determined not to give up.