NORTH BEND — “It’s all about accessibility,” said Jeanne Woods, the chairperson of the Liberty Theatre’s Restoration Committee. “At this theater we want the entire community to feel welcomed.”
Working toward creating a restored Liberty Theatre – Home of Little Theatre on the Bay, Woods was joined by a handful of committee members recently as they checked out the ongoing construction in North Bend.
Gordon Reid with the Liberty Theater board of directors replaces an an exit sign as restorations continue on the building Friday in North Bend.
Filled with excitement, Woods walked down the lobby and up to the stage pointing out new wheelchair accessible features which she hopes will raise the theater’s inclusivity and let the community know its space is for everyone to enjoy.
The project, which has been divided into seven phases, is well on its way to completing its third phase this month, which includes updating its main lobby area and concessions. A new double door entrance, a beer and wine bar as well as a new “Walk of Fame” tiled entry layout, which folks can purchase and engrave, are among a few of the new upgrades.
Following sound advice from historical consultant George Kramer, Woods said they’ve been able to keep much of the theater’s historical features intact while also putting their own modern touches and functionality to the new upgrades.
Norma and Don Williams talk to restoration chair Jeanne Woods, right, about buying a memorial tile as restoration work continues Friday at the…
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“We coordinated our carpet and walls to reflect the Moroccan revival style to which Kramer said we had with the theater,” said project manager Mike Vaughan. “The bathrooms, sinks and archways are all Moroccan style.”
Keeping things moving, Vaughan said the restoration committee will begin opening up bids later this month for phase four of the project, which would include constructing a new set area and air flow system.
An upgrade on the lighting and sound system as well as an expansion of the rehearsal space and dressing rooms are expected to follow. The final phase of the project, which will be completed in 2023, will include a historical preservation of the theater’s rooftop domes and neon sign.
Fred Wilson lays an engraved tile at the entrance of the Liberty Theater as restoration work continues Friday on the building in North Bend.
“We’re so jazzed with all the support we’ve gotten from the community,” said Woods. “Our restoration committee has shown such great teamwork over the years and everyone has really been dedicated and committed to making this a better place for our community.”
The lobby is set to be finished Friday, Sept. 20, with the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce conducting a ribbon cutting ceremony at 6 p.m. A showing of “Always … Patsy Cline” will follow at 7 p.m. For information about tickets or other upcoming shows as well as the theater itself visit its website at www.thelibertytheatre.org.