Rockingham voters approve restoration of town hall, theater

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(Host) Voters in Rockingham have approved a $2.8 million bond issue. The money will be used to restore the historic theater and town office complex in the village of Bellows Falls.

The building was built in the 1920s. In the 1980s the town took over the operation of its ground floor movie theater as a public service. The building also houses Rockingham’s municipal offices.

But Rockingham development director Richard Ewald says the theater has suffered from unfortunate alterations’ over the years:

(Ewald) “There was a drop ceiling installed about 20 years ago, and the balcony was walled off, and nothing has been done to the walls for 30 or 40 years. The next stage is to just bust through the wall that was constructed across the opening of the stage, the proscenium arch. When you’re watching a film, you’re looking at a film projected onto a wall. When that wall is removed it will open up a 25-foot deep stage, which will then be used for performances.”

(Host) Ewald says Rockingham has aggressively pursued opportunities in recent years. The town has been referred to as a “poster child” for the creative economy. Ewald sees the bond vote as an indication that people want to keep moving.

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