By RODNEY D. BOAM
Remodeling of Worm Creek Opera House will make the 84 year-old building something special for the city of Preston and the downtown business area. As many as 50 volunteers have been working hard removing seats, flooring and remodeling the back stage area. They have replaced the old with new – adding new seats, hardwood flooring on the extended stage, retexturing some walls and painting the old theater, among other things.
Things really took a change when Brad Wall was volunteering with the Lions Club and thought the place needed new paint.
Wall asked theater board member Paul Swainston what it would take to repaint the place. “Money,” Swainston replied.
“We got this total make-over going on and I asked him if he was going to repaint the walls,” Wall, president of the Preston Lions Club said. “It’s a shame to do all that work and not paint the walls.”
Swainston got some bids from local painting contractors. The Lions came up with a large part of the money and the finishing touch came to life.
Wall said he took it to the civic club’s board of directors and they were excited to help.
“The Lions have always pitched in to help the theater group,” Wall said. “This isn’t the first, but it might be the single biggest donation we have given them and we were happy to do it.”
Darrel Drury got the bid. And went to work prepping, texturing, rebuilding, masking and painting.
“I put my heart and soul into this building,” Drury said. “We reshaped the arches in the lobby to their original shape.”
The theater now has a modern looking, fresh coat of paint.
“The board decided on the colors and they got it right,” Swainston said. “I think it really looks nice. We talked about the scheme of how to break things up.”
“’Drury went above and beyond,” Swainston said. “We probably didn’t pay him enough. It was sure money well spent.”
Wall said he thought the theater would be crown jewel of Preston when it’s completed.
“People will go there once because of curiosity and they will be impressed with the quality of the picture, sound, new seats and fresh paint. I think it will get them to come back, over and over again.”
“We got a whole lot more than we thought we would,” Swainston said. “I’m excited to have the best looking place on State Street. I’m not prejudiced or anything.”
This story is sponsored by Preston Fire Department.
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