Wednesday, September 16, 2009



The Roane County Economic Development Foundation announced today the projects that will be funded with the money TVA donated on Monday (9/14/09) for the restoration of Roane County, Tennessee.

Today (9/16/09) the Foundation announced the “approved” projects that the $43 million earmarked for Roane County economic development. Those specific projects were:

$5 million: Kingston sewer improvements

$32,000: Rockwood paving improvements

$1.7 million: Princess Theater complex renovation in Harriman

An approval for $32 million for the Roane County school system expansion is anticipated to come very soon.

The $1.7 million for the restoration of the Princess "complex" area in Downtown Harriman, could actually have been included in the promised $32 million that will be directed toward the Roane County school system, since the theater, and the two adjacent buildings, will become an Arts Education and Conferencing Center managed by Roane State Community College. However, it is important to highlight the Princess Project because this project will have a long lasting effect on the County’s educational system, and bring new life to Downtown Harriman area.

Most people think the Princess will become a “movie theater” again, which is far from the truth. True, there may be times a special movie, especially ones created by local movie makers and/or the arts departments of Roane State and the local high schools, is shown and premiered at the Princess Theater, but the truth is the primary purpose of the auditorium segment of the Arts Education and Conferencing Center “complex” (see area #3 in the photo above) will be for arts and event productions, large scale teleconferencing meetings, reunions and similar party and planning events, and live music.

Area #1 (in photo above) is slated to become a TV and radio station operated by the students of Roane State Community College. Area #2 will become part of the lobby of area #3, an area that will showcase art and memorabilia. Area #4 will be used as project related offices, teleconferencing management/control areas, and dressing areas for the various events, shows, and live music.

The result of such a “complex” will be the enhancement of arts education in the area which results in entertainment for the citizens of the area.

As Harriman Mayor Chris Mason said today, “This Princess project will have more of a positive impact on the downtown revitalization than anything else we could have done. The best thing about this project is that it will expand our youth’s education throughout the region and that is what really motivates me to keep going on this project.

The Mayor went on to say, “Today I have the pleasure to let you know that the RC economic dev. board voted unanimously to give the Princess Foundation for Arts Education and Conference Center $1.7 million for the project. This, combined with the grant will fully finish the project and make it the most technologically advanced building in our county. It will be an extension of RSCC campus where all of our youth will be able to participate and take classes in media production, lighting, stage production, sound design etc. It will bring tourists in from out of town to watch shows on the weekend as well as be the catalyst for economic growth downtown.

I want to thank everyone that has participated in this LONG endeavor including the Harriman City Council that formally passed a resolution requesting that this project be funded. THIS IS THE BEST NEWS THAT HARRIMAN HAS HAD IN THE LAST 40+ YEARS!! This project WILL change the downtown as we currently know it and will change the lives of so many youth in our region.

The projected open date will be Summer 2010.

Thanks again…the future is bright for the City of Harriman!”


Jonie said...

This is such great news!! I was just in Harriman on saturday and was thinking how great it would be if y'all could get it open again.

Muse Watson said...

The doors are opening for the kids of the region. Muse Watson

The Studious said...

I am very unhappy with what they're doing to the theatre. I've been in love with The Princess every since i can remember and it was once my dream to buy it and open it to the public to play old movies and turn it into a teen hang out. Harriman has nothing for the kids. Thats why everyone is on drugs and getting pregnant. To have an exclusive place to just go and get away would have made a world of difference for those kids. This is such a dissapointment to me and my crew. This is not what the princess was meant for. We will protest until she has gotten what she was made for.

Mushy said...

Unfortunately, it has been proved time and time again that a small theater showing traditional commercially available movies cannot survive in small towns. There is too much competition from the big complexes.

If the theater could have survived doing just that, then it would have never closed.

This renovation and direction change does mean great things for the youth in our area. They can come study or see and hear the arts, and even be part of it! It will last long into the future with this direction and mean more to the community than just a theater could ever.

Please join us and learn more about what we are working hard to bring to the youth of our towns.

Muse Watson said...


i do not understand your post. If you have the money to purchase it and put in "Old" movies and provide a place for kids to "hang-out" then please consider sponsoring an "Old Movie" night or a "Teen Hang Out" night at the newly renovated Princess Theater. We could use the help in keeping the theater open every night with activities. ...or write me at for other ways to make YOUR dreams come true.

Muse Watson

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