By Cameron Rasmusson
On Thursday, Sept. 10, a freshly renovated Panida Theater re-opens its doors with screenings of “Mr. Holmes,” a film about an elderly Sherlock Holmes starring the great Ian McKellen. A full slate of events is prepared as the theater moves into its autumn season.
According to Panida director Patricia Walker White, the renovations that kept the theater closed for much of the summer have received a warm response. A particular concerned was the restored ceiling, with some wondering whether the new plaster work could match the historic original. The past few days have seen many doubts put to rest, White said.
“So far, people are commenting how impressed they are with the new plaster and how historic it looks,” she said.
Speaking of new functionality, a new lighting chase adds an increased professionalism to the Panida’s stage lights. Even so, the atmosphere that locals know and love is still very much intact, White said.
“Those that have seen the lighting chase are excited,” White said. “They’re glad it didn’t change the look and feel of the theater.”
“[The changes] make the whole theater look brighter,” she added. “Opulent is the word that comes to mind.”
Theater renovations have taken place in stages over the last few years. Initial chores like removing asbestos and adding new insulation paved the way for improvements like the installation of a fire prevention sprinkler system and, of course, the new plaster ceiling. There are few tasks yet to be finished, particularly involving the lighting, electrical systems and general clean-up, but White and the rest of the Panida crew are excited to be open once again.
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