Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Saturday, December 20, 2014

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

Priscilla Beach Theatre, which just completed its 78th year, is the oldest barn theatre still in operation in the United States. The ongoing restoration work by owners and guardians Bob and Sandy Malone will be completed in time for next summer's performance season. "Fiddler on the Roof," and "Chicago" are already scheduled.

Most of the exterior work has been completed. As shown above, work is progressing on the decks that will surround the southwest and northwest sides of the theatre.

The stair stringers, anchored in a new concrete footing, are ready to receive the new stair treads. Installation of the decking boards in the foreground is underway.

Decking partially installed.

This panoramic view, although it slightly distorts the perspective, shows how the decks will wrap around the building and afford one level access for the differently abled.

Meanwhile, progress also continues inside.  The old basement dirt floor has been replaced with a poured concrete slab. Note the stone foundation wall which is part of the original 1875 barn structure.

The mirrored dressing room areas are below stage and the stairway at left leads directly to upstage right.

Broadway's next stars will soon be applying their theatrical makeup here - and their signature to the wall.

The view from downstage left looking back toward upstage right where the stairs descend to the dressing areas.  Most of the construction debris has been cleaned up since the major work in the stage area is complete. The set with  the stack of painted mattresses has remained at the back of the stage throughout the entire construction period. 

Carrying on with the barn theme, these doors on roller tracks access under-stage areas.  These doors and all the other barn-style doors on the building exterior were custom built on site (in some cases with original barn wood) by the general contractor, Kelleher Fine Builders, Inc. of Kingston, MA. 

This view from downstage left toward the back of the audience seating area illustrates the raised platforms under construction.

These tiered levels will pretty much provide everyone an unobstructed view of the stage - even when some tall guy like me is sitting in front of you. 

This update is the latest edition of a multi-part series which I began in May 2014 to chronicle this extraordinary project to restore a precious part of our American theatrical heritage. You can read my other blog posts about the construction progress and stage performances by typing "Priscilla Beach" in the search box in the right side column of this blog.

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