Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Prescott's Elks Opera House to undergo renovations

[Source: Elisabeth Ruffner, Chairman Elks Opera House Capital Campaign] -- When the Elks Opera House in Prescott goes dark for 6 weeks on October 1, a renovation of the inner lobby will commence with a grant from the Arizona Heritage Fund matched by Prescott Questers groups and the Elks Opera House Foundation. Both Billy G. Garrett, co-founder of APF (with Elisabeth Ruffner) and James W. Garrison State Historic Preservation Officer will be present for a hard hat party on Sunday 7 October when the demolition is celebrated with tours of the theatre and food, music and dancing. Guests may sign the bare walls and studs and become a part of the grand old house forever!

Renovation will commence on the next day and will result in a restored stencilled ceiling, a renovated concessions stand with state of the art refrigeration, new carpeting and replica chandelier, according to Nancy Burgess, City of Prescott Preservation Officer who will manage the construction project for which she prepared the successful grant proposal, rated 100% by the review panel. The Elks Opera House is owned by the City of Prescott on a condominium basis and the restoration/renovation is being undertaken by the foundation under a memorandum of understanding with the city. As one of only three remaining Elks opera houses in the country, and the only one in public hands, the Prescott venue is now and will be in the future used by many different performers, young and adult, for graduations, memorial services, conventions, concerts and theatrical and musical presentations.