White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Priscilla Beach Theatre Restoration, Priscilla Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

It's been a fascinating journey but, this is my FINAL edition of this multi-part series which I began in May 2014 to chronicle this extraordinary project to restore a precious part of our American theatrical heritage - the Priscilla Beach Theatre (PBT) Barn Stage.

A few days ago, PBT received final approval from the Plymouth Building Department and the Plymouth Fire Department. That means that they are now officially open for business at the restored PBT Barn Stage!!!  The PBT Barn Stage is one of three performance venues on the campus which also includes the GMO Black Box Theatre, and the Outdoor Stage.

This may be my final post about the restoration but, it is not the end of the story - it's really the beginning of a new phase of the story for PBT. On July 10, at 7:30pm, owners and guardians Bob and Sandy Malone will welcome "Fiddler on the Roof," to the Barn Stage. (You can call 508-224-4888 or go online to get your tickets/reservations. Here's their website - http://www.pbtheatre.org/).


The Barn Stage now stands regally as the centerpeice of the PBT campus.

The new official sign has been installed - "Priscilla Beach Theatre, Barn Stage, Built in 1875, Broadway in a Barn since 1937."  PBT, now in its 79th year, is the oldest barn theatre still in operation in the United States. The venue will welcome both "Fiddler on the Roof," and "Chicago" this summer to this reborn space.

Campus view - the former actress dormitory at left, the farm house and PBT GMO Black Box Theatre at center, the PBT Box Office and Concession stand at center, and the PBT Barn Stage at right.

Another angle of view - the PBT Outdoor Stage will soon be erected in the left foreground, the PBT Barn Stage at left rear, the former actress dormitory at center, the Box Office and Concession Stand at center, and the farm house and GMO Black Box Theatre at right.

Inside the Barn Stage, two hundred new seats are located on the main floor.  Cutouts in the front rows are for wheelchair patrons.

A comfortable place to enjoy the show(s).

Graduated risers afford a clear line of sight to the stage from the seats farthest away.

Note the mixture of light and dark wood on the walls.  It is purposefully left that way to show the original wood (dark) and the newly restored portions (light).

View of the stage from audience right. Although many improvements have been made including state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, it was critically important to owners Bob and Sandy Malone to ensure that the feel and ambiance of the barn theatre experience be retained. From my perspective, they've been very successful in achieving that goal.

Looking out toward the audience area from center stage. The brightly glowing orb is.........

....the original wagon wheel light which has been re-hung in its original location over the audience area.

The new rest room wing was built with rough hewn lumber to keep the old barn feel.

One of the two new restrooms. 

Beneath the stage, dressing rooms and make-up areas are convenient for the performers.

Also below stage is an additional area for prop storage. This area was formerly unfinished with a mud floor which dated back to its previous life in the 1870's as an actual barn.

More props - chairs from many eras to fit the time period of a particular production.

This restored 1937 Chevrolet pick-up truck can be seen around town with a sign marquee in the truck bed announcing upcoming shows. Or, you can simply call 508-224-4888 or go online to get your tickets/reservations. Here's their website - http://www.pbtheatre.org/.

If you have missed my other blog posts over the past year, here's the starting point back in May 2014. The building was in sad shape and many thought a complete demolition was its only future. Against all odds though, Bob and Sandy Malone persevered and followed the more difficult (and costly) path of restoration.

View of the stage from audience right - May 2014.

View of the audience area - May 2014.

View from center stage - May 2014.


Unfinished mud floor area under the stage and audience areas - May 2014.

I extend my best wishes to owners and guardians, Bob and Sandy Malone, as they continue to rejuvenate the entire theatrical campus and bring outstanding live theatre to our community.  The multi-venue campus creates opportunity for young children, teens, and adults to enjoy the magic of live performance while building and strengthening important life skills along the way.  

I also extend my thanks and appreciation to Bob and Sandy for allowing me access to the site over the past year to record the progress. From your comments, I know that many of you who have followed these blog posts have enjoyed watching this community icon being rebuilt, too. 

My thanks also to Paul Kelleher of Kelleher Fine Builders, Inc., Kingston, Massachusetts, who was the hands-on general contractor for the project and his associate, Van Quenuque.  Although many sub-contractors played a part in this project, it was Paul and Van who, day-in and day-out, good weather or biting cold, brought this space back to life with their craftsmanship.  They kindly let me wander through their work areas as it was ongoing.

I hope you'll join me in supporting live local theatre in our community at Priscilla Beach Theatre!

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If you would like to review the entire project, links to each of my 26 previous blog posts over the past year follow below in chronological order:





















http://joesretirementblog.blogspot.com/2015/05/priscilla-beach-theatre-restoration_21.html

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1 comment:

  1. We are so blessed to have had Joe and his camera to chronicle this past year. We are very grateful for all the time, skill and dedication that he has put into this.

    Bob and Sandy Malone

    ReplyDelete