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As mentioned in Mr. J. Allen Turmer’s comments, The North Theatre officially opened on Friday evening February 25, 2005 with a performance by The Heath Brothers Jazz Quartet. On the previous night The Carrington Art Gallery, part of The North Theatre Complex, was formally opened with a posthumous exhibition by two Danville, VA Artist, Carson Davenport and Paul Bond. Mr. Davenport was chosen by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to have a painting hung in the White House during FDRâ€™s presidency. Mr. Davenport was also selected to do three paintings for US Post Offices under the auspices of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Section of Fine Arts in the late 1930â€™s. One is located in nearby Chatham, Virginiaâ€™s Post Office. A brief history of Mr. Davenport by Mr. Herman E. Melton, can be read at
View link . We thank family members of each artist and many other individuals and organizations for loaning the works of art for the first ever exhibit in the delightful new Carrington Art Gallery.
As president of The North Theatre, Inc., I was honored to make a welcoming address to the 488 attendees, a sold out house. Mr. Jerry Meadors, the Project Designer and Artistic/Managing Director of the theatre, introduced me. I was stunned and humbled by a long-standing ovation. The standing ovation should have been directed at Mr. Meadors. Every facet, every door knob, every lamp globe, every detail of this marvelous facility was authored by Mr. Jerry Meadors to match the theme and feeling of the 1947 period of the original North. In addition, all of the technological and comfort items for performers and attendees alike were of his vision. I would say I am properly labeled the philanthropist behind the project. Thatâ€™s an easy job. The real credit goes to my dear friend, Jerry Meadors.
It was our great pleasure to have in attendance at our first nighter Ms. Eileen B. Mason, Senior Deputy Chairman at the National Endowment for the Arts, NEA, and two other staffers, Ms. Chana Chase and Mr. Wayne S. Brown. Ms. Manson also spoke to the assembled audience and commented on the high quality of the facility. The NEA was co-host of the opening event as part of its Jazz Masters series. Other special attendees were Ms. Peggy Baggett, Chairman, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and Ms. Kathleen S. Kilpatrick, Director, (Virginia) State Historic Preservation Officer.
After show comments regarding the performers and audio quality of the facility were exceedingly gratifying.
Our next show will be 10 performances of True West, by American playwright Sam Sheppard, commencing on April 15, 2005. The box office can be reached at 434-792 2700. On line ticket sales are just around the corner as is our formal web site www.norththeatre.com
The North Theatre Complex, composed of The North Theatre, The North Star Restaurant and The North Offices, is awaiting a Certificate of Occuoancy at this time. Small details are left to be completed and the entire complex will be in operation. Present plans have the restaurant opening in March of 2005. Our wed site www.norththeatre.com is under construction. At present pictures of the renovation and restoration are online for site visitors. Our first scheduled event will be The Heath Brothers Jazz Organization on February 25, 2005. The Heath Brothers are presented through The National Endowment for the Arts. Tickets go on sale January 2, 2005. Call 434-792-2700 for ticket sales on or after January 2, 2005.
The North Theatre is nearing completion of its renovation and restoration project of the theatre originally opened in the spring of 1947. The theatre will seat 493 in newly renovated and enlarged seats. The North Theatre Complex will have two 35mm projectors and a Digital projector making it capable of showing the classics of film and the very latest in true digital projection. The stage rigging will be a Hofend Vortex system, the latest in computer controlled stage rigging. There will be a restaurant, The North Star Cafe, an art gallery, and, offices for rent to other arts organizations. A Grand Opening will be held on January 22, 2005 for contributors to the project. The first booked performance will be Tha Heath Brothers, a jazz group, presented in cooperation with The National Endowment for the Arts.