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Rural Historic Theaters Receive Unprecedented $615,000 in Grant Funds for Preservation
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com -
Contributed By: Restore Oregon
Email The Author: Restore_Oregon@mail.vresp.com
Website: http://restoreoregon.org

As part of our Oregon’s Most Endangered Places program, Restore Oregon combined forces with the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to bring an unprecedented grant opportunity to rural historic theaters in Oregon! 

Last year, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), which includes the Oregon Main Street Network and the State Historic Preservation Office,  received $665,000 as one of only nine grants awarded by the National Park Service for their Historic Revitalization Subgrant Program. This matching grant program was open to rural historic theaters to receive funding  between $15,0000 and $100,000. Restore Oregon provided technical assistance with eligibility determinations for the National Register of Historic Places (listing is a requirement of the grant) and the application process.

“For over five years Restore Oregon has been supporting the revival of Oregon’s historic theaters. They are central to the revitalization of Main Street economies and important community cultural centers that connect us with our roots. These grants will be transformational and the impact will benefit generations,” says Peggy Moretti, Executive Director of Restore Oregon.  “We are delighted to be a partner with the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office to help facilitate much needed investment in historic theaters across Oregon. Especially rewarding is the long-term impact that our Oregon’s Most Endangered Places program can have on places like the Egyptian Theater, listed in 2011. It is a shining example of how a place can go from endangered to saved through the efforts of dedicated preservationists, creative thinking, and support from Restore Oregon.” 

Here’s the award announcement issued this morning from Crissy Curran at the State Historic Preservation Office:

Eight theater projects were selected in this competitive grant process and have been awarded $615,000 in federal grant funding for their preservation projects. The following organizations will be receiving awards:
  • Dallas Downtown Association, for roof, masonry, and other repairs on the Dallas Cinema in Dallas.
  • Egyptian Theatre Preservation Association, for roof repair on the theater in Coos Bay. 
  • Lakeview Community Partnership, for electrical and lighting repair, fire door replacement, and curtain and rigging work at the Alger Theatre in Lakeview. 
  • Little Theater on the Bay, to replace the roof and missing Moorish roof domes on the Liberty Theater in North Bend. 
  • Newberg Downtown Coalition, to update seats and acoustical drapes in the auditorium and repair exterior lighting on the Cameo Theatre in Newberg. 
  • OK Theatre, to restore façade and store fronts, update the concessions area, and add a bar service area to the theater in Enterprise. 
  • Rex Theater, to restore the marquee neon and reader board, paint the exterior, repair the roof and ceiling, and install HVAC in the Theater in Vale.
  • The Dalles Main Street Program, to install new fire doors, HVAC, and awnings on the Granada Theatre in The Dalles. 

The grants were funded through a grant to OPRD from the National Park Service. It was one of nine awarded nationally through the Historic Revitalization Subgrant Program. Funding also covers the cost for the preparation of National Register of Historic Places nominations for four of the theaters not currently listed. These include the Dallas Cinema, Liberty Theatre, Rex Theatre, and Alger Theatre.

“These projects will significantly impact the local communities,” said Chrissy Curran, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer. “We are pleased to have been awarded this funding so that we can support local theaters and foster our vibrant rural communities in Oregon.”

Restore Oregon, a statewide nonprofit, was also funded to help promote the program and assist theaters in the application process.


Posted: June 30, 2020
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