PRINCESS THEATRE - Raising the Curtain: This is truly a “Legacy Moment” for the Princess!

Friday, September 18, 2009

This is truly a “Legacy Moment” for the Princess!

From Jim Young in Crossville:
I have been reading some of the backlash about the funds to restore the Princess and I have to say, all you need to do is look at what the Palace Theatre did for downtown Crossville to find the benefit for Harriman. The Palace was a derelict building for many years. The total cost of the project almost 10 years ago was 1.2 million and the community auditorium was worth approximately $2 million when it was done. It stays busy much of the time now bringing a variety of local and out of town guests to Crossville. The Palace has been a boon to Crossville and the next step the city is looking at now is revitalization of the downtown area as economic development. Having been where you all are with the Palace I know the feeling! But the hard work begins now! Good luck and God Speed!

Jim Young was vice president of Downtown Crossville Inc. that spearheaded the restoration of the Palace and currently serves as Chair of the Crossville city council's Palace Advisory Board.
Muse Watson is thrilled with the good news the citizens of Roane County received about their Princess Theater Wednesday. He sends the following message:

I am so excited! When I first talked to the manager about buying the theater some 12 years ago, I was afraid the local business men who were also interested in buying it were going to try to tear it down. When we met we found that we had the same aim. To restore it. My dream went a little further, but that was because I was in the industry and had dreams of what could happen there.

I dreamed of putting on shows. A "Prairie Home Companion" meets "Hee Haw" show for Saturday night that we would film and edit and I would try to syndicate for cable or PBS. A Saturday morning, "Parents get some time" show where we have the kids learning and entertained for a couple of hours and give the parents a break and the kids learn about the arts. A Sunday morning show of Gospel music. Maybe a political discussion show where my rule would be that if either of the hosts interrupts the other…they are fired. LOL

I envision a musical instrument lending library where children who can not afford instruments to learn on get to borrow them from folks who used to play and have them at home. We maintain them and return them when the owner's ask for them, but as long as we have them we make them available to the kids.

I want to ask our public school officials to give us a wish list of things they need to take the place of arts education lost to budget cuts, and give our kids arts education again.

With our broadcast curriculum started at Roane State we will train our own television technicians. Our shows will be training grounds for our students and entertainment for the public. The tourist coming to the show may be the best economic boost we can provide the region.

There will be a conference center where we can have classes, re-unions and graduations and local groups can meet there. I would hope the Babahatchie Band would make their home there and have Tuba Christmas there at Christmastime. Our local radio and TV station will air our shows and give us a great way to communicate what is going on at the center to the public. Plus, there will be additional shows to be put on by Roane State and local talent just for the radio and TV stations. What a laboratory we will have for kids to learn about the arts thru radio and TV broadcasting.
I ask the Mayor in negotiations with the cable provider to run a fiber optic cable to their up-link to facilitate my selling the shows to cable networks and this fiber was completed this month. So we are ready to produce our shows, edit them for sale to cable and entertain and educate our public.

We have produced two shows at the Roane State Theater in our series "Tennessee's Front Porch”... and they were well received. A DVD of our last installment called "Appalachian Dreams" is being edited as we speak.

We can do this...and I hope those fans around the world will soon be able to watch what we are doing in Roane County, Tennessee... Watch for us! We can do this!

Muse Watson

From Freida Breazeal, 1953 HHS Graduate, former teacher and basketball coach (’59-’60):
This day would never have come to pass had not YOU (Chris Mason) been so totally dedicated and involved to help make it happen, Chris!!! We, as present and former residents of Harriman are indebted to you for your commitment in helping to SAVE our hometown. Words fall far short in trying to sufficiently thank you for all of the long hours, hard work and perseverance to such a noble cause.

This is indeed a happy day for not only Harriman but all of Roane County and I thank you for your personal efforts in making it a reality. Please share my gratitude with the City Council for their support and ongoing endeavors to fight for the betterment of Harriman. I have already been in touch with Gary Baker, who has been the ongoing and unrelenting catalyst to make this dream for all of us...come true. It just goes to show what focused teamwork CAN accomplish!!!
I am notifying my classmates of this wondrous good news and we will closely follow the undertaking and completion of the Arts Education and Conference Complex on Roane Street in Harriman with high interest and anticipation!!!
Freida Breazeal
(In the next mayoral election is it possible for me to obtain an absentee ballot? :) )
From Len Tucker of the Fox Theatre in Atlanta:

This is great news! I’m happy to hear that good fortune has been sent to “The Princess”. You’re right, prayer and hard work can accomplish a great deal. I hope to see the theatre someday soon.

Best Regards,
Len Tucker

From Mark Tiedje of the South Carolina Theatres website:

Hi J. Paul,
Thank you. This is GREAT news! We did put a small announcement on our home page to let our visitors know too. We never doubted your success for a moment. After that wonderful show “Appalachian Dreams” we knew the Harriman community had a winner. With the outstanding community spirit we observed, we knew this project had the kind of support it needed.

Congratulations to everyone involved. This is truly a “Legacy Moment.” We look forward to hearing more as developments occur. We especially look forward to returning to Harriman to see the dream realized.

All our best wishes,

1 comment:

FHB said...

Wonderful. can't wait to come back some time and go to an event there.

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