Sunday, 19 May 2024

Soper-Reese nears completion of second renovation phase

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The renovation project needs just over $1.3 million in order to be completed. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.


 

 

 
LAKEPORT – After a four-month hiatus from hosting performances in order to allow for the latest phase of its renovation project, the Soper-Reese Community Theatre will once again open its doors to the public beginning this coming week.

A Friday afternoon reception allowed community members to visit the building, located at 275 S. Main St., which has several new features after the latest renovation phase, which is being called “phase 2.1,” according to theater manager John Ross.

Most notably, the size of the stage has expanded, with new wheelchair-accessible walkways added on either side that extend out toward the audience. Those ramps were painted on Friday.

Also on Friday, the concrete for a new loading dock was poured.

Alongside of the building, facing Martin Street, is a new patio and courtyard area.

On Saturday, a new curtain will be hung across the stage, said Bert Hutt, the theater's artistic director.

The recent phase also included laying the foundation and doing the electrical work for the dressing room area that will extend out from behind the theater.

The Soper-Reese Renovation Project needs to raise a total of $1.3 million to complete it work.

The theater's first renovation phase cost $600,000, and phase 2.1 cost $220,000, said Ross.

In the next phase, they'll complete the dressing rooms, which Ross said will require $100,000. That phase also will include updates to the facade and the lobby, which will cost $350,000.

The theater's renovation has received $250,000 in federal Housing and Urban Development funds, $200,000 from the Lakeport Redevelopment Agency and funds from the county, including a recent allocation of $15,000, said Ross.

As the theater's fundraising committee goes about raising the rest of the money needed to finish the project, Ross said they're looking at all potential sources – including the community and grants.

Ross said the theater had stopped hosting events during the past four months to allow construction.

However events are starting up this next week and the theater will once again host a regular schedule of events.

Its first public event will be this Sunday, July 12, when the theater will host the memorial service for the late Joan Holman, an artist, writer, photographer and grand dame of local theater, who died June 5 at age 93.

“She has been a big supporter of the arts in Lake County,” said Hutt.

Later in the week, Lake County Community Radio, KPFZ 88.1 FM, will hold its inaugural Lake County Singer Songwriter Festival on Sundayy, July 19, at the Soper-Reese Theater in Lakeport. The event is a benefit for the nonprofit community radio station.

There are big hopes for the Soper-Reese, which will be one of the county's largest dedicated theater spaces.

In addition to hosting major events and performances, Hutt – who attended a community theater managers conference in Tacoma, Wash., earlier in the week – hopes to have a theater company based at the theater.

 

Visit the theater online at www.soperreesetheatre.com .



E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


 

 

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The inside of the theater, pictured from the lighting book. New wheelchair accessible ramps line both walls. A new stage curtain will be hung on Saturday, July 11, 2009. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.
 

 

 

 

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The second phase of construction included laying the foundation and doing wiring for the dressing room area, being built at the back of the theater. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.
 

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