Friday, November 4, 2011


It used to be that I'd have to wait a month to see real change in the progress at the Princess.  Now, if I don't go every few days, I can miss out on lots of little changes.  Things are really, happening at a fast pace now, and it won't be long before you will see a notice posted here for a grand event!

James Ryan and Adam (forgive me I forgot his last name), of Rocky Top Sign & Neon, are busy most days putting on the metal face of the marquee.  He begins this week finishing up the neon at his shop, and I plan on dropping by to capture a few great moments in neon for history.

I was under the misconception that the marquee was going to be a giant one-piece sign that a crane would have to hoist into place.  Not so!  The frame of the marquee is all wood, some having to be molded into a curved shape that goes up first.  It is then wrapped in black and white metal, which has a plastic shield on the outside to protect it from scratches during installation.  That will be peeled off once the sign is completed covered.

The metal will protect the wood from the weather and keep the marquee sturdy and shiny for years to come.  Over this will be the neon...more on that later.

Inside, Tim Plemons and crew are still painting the vast interior, which has included the auditorium floor.  Some time next week the burgundy seats donated by Regal Cinemas will be bolted into place.  It will then look like a theatre inside as well.  I'm not going to publish any more wide shots of the interior until after the grand opening.  We want it to be a total surprise to you when you walk into the auditorium for the first time!

However, I will post a close shot or two of the seats just to tease you!

The new bathroom additions are being completed, and the ladies will happy to know that there are six new stalls in the Princess, besides the original ones.  The men too will have new extra facilities to enjoy, and there will be drinking fountains conveniently located throughout the lobby area.

The elevator lift and loading platform are in place, awaiting the actual elevator compartment.  This will make seats in the balcony more convenient to everyone, including the handicapped.

Almost unnoticed under foot in the lobby is the work being done to restore the original terrazzo flooring to its original shine.  The breaks in the beautiful old flooring are being properly filled, ground, sanded, and buffed to bring it back to life, and give it at least another 70 years of life!  I can hardly wait to see this floor returned to even better luster than I remember from my time in the sixties.  

Put it all together and you have a reborn venue; perhaps a transformation from a mere theater to a grand theatre.  She will be ready again to receive the title she was once given by newspapers and newsreels as a "temple to the arts"!

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