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Archive for the ‘Texan Theater’ Category

Changing Phases

We are continuing to move forward.   If you walk by the front and look in, you will not see much happening.  We finished the “what have we got” phase and are moving into the “design” phase.  This includes lots of field trips.  I will be visiting venues, enjoying entertainment, eating food, as well as talking with owners and managers.

Before my trips and visits begin, I am meeting with LOTS of people.  Architect, Interior Design, Sound Design, Engineer.  These people are all trying to get me to hire them.  🙂   I have my General Contractor, Chris Kilmer, on board.  Chris is at least 3rd generation of working on buildings in Greenville.  He knows people who can do all these things and recommends them to me.  I get to meet and share my excitement and vision with them.  We wander around the theater to see what is already there and what they have to work with.  They go away and work up a bid.  I love sharing my ideas and hopes and dreams.   Each time I tell the story I get more excited and more of the bits fall into place.   I can see how this is a very long term work in progress.

The possible date for grand opening is New Years Eve for 2013.  You might wonder why it is close to 18 months away.   Some of you know that I own another business as well – Dairy Manor Bed & Breakfast.  I bought the building in October (I think) and the downstairs  was ready for the Altrusa Tour of Homes in December.  When we agreed to the tour it sounded like enough time, but once we were working “Oh MAN!”  There was a lot more to do than we had time for.   It all worked out but I hated the stress.  I won’t do that to myself again.  So, our target date is a ways off.  More soon!

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Asbestos?

I left you hanging on the asbestos and structure.  Is the place falling in?  Is there asbestos?

First, I had to find someone to say the place was not falling down.  We had a good friend come by who is busy doing other things BUT he knows about structures.  He came to check things out.  Verdict?  Not falling down!  That is wonderful news.

Asbestos is next.   The structural inspector gave me two numbers of companies close by who are good.  I called the first number – not a working number.  So, on to the second number.  This time I got an answer.  I explained to the receptionist what I needed.  She said I could talk with this other person and she transfers me.  We chat.  He says “we do not do that anymore”.  I was beginning to get a tiny bit discouraged.   On the good note though,  he gave me a name and number that he uses for this kind of thing.  Dyana Lee.

I called Dyana.  We had a wonderful conversation.  I was encouraged again!  She sounded like she knew what she was doing and was ready to get moving.  I sent an email with the size specifications of the building.  She sent me a proposal. I accepted and off she went.   THEN – the Report!   On first reading  I thought “Asbestos everywhere!”.  It turns out to be not so bad.  Of the 100 or so places she sampled less than 10 had a problem and most of those were different places on the walls.

This seems like it will be a continual roller coaster, but the ride sure is fun.  I will catch everyone up more within the next few days!

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I bought an old theater.   Not sure what crazy pills I had taken on the day I agreed to it.  I thought it would be fun.  Have a stage, do plays, show movies, serve food and drink – all will be good.

I went to the League of Historic American Theaters conference (who knew such an organization existed??) in July.   I found out that serving food was not on ANYONE’S agenda.  “Don’t do it!  Send them somewhere else to eat!  Focus on what you know!”  Well – we know food not theater.  I am still determined to do food.

I explore the theater.  It keeps getting bigger!  More space here, more space there.  No projector. No problem – I need new equipment anyway.  No dressing rooms – hhhmm, maybe I will start with just movies.  No curtain – OK, I can deal with that.   So, I invite in a consultant to help me see what I have gotten into.   He says I have pretty much a clean slate.  You can do anything you want.  Not sure that was a whole lot of help, but I like him and he will help to make sure we get everything we need to do what we want to do.

I am still fairly chipper.  Nothing too dramatic so far to stop me.  Now I find an architect.   He is a great guy.  His partner has experience with another old theater.  He grew up in this town as well so he remembers the Texan from when we were kids.  Problem is, he knows about the real obstacles.  Structure falling down around us?  Asbestos?  City rules?  Permits?  Historic rules?  Main Street council?

I need all those answers before I can even start to think about food!  OK..  stay tuned…  structure and asbestos are next.

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