By: Stan Huskey
It’s time now for a little shameless self-promotion!
The promotion is actually for the Centre Theater, but since I sit on the board this column could be considered a little self-serving.
We’ve been having a great time down at the theater, you know, when we’re not working our tails off trying to get the place in shape, which is where I want to start today.
Not with me getting in shape.
I’m working on it, but hey, let’s be honest, I’ve been working on it for years.
Anyway, I digress.
Getting the theater back in shape has been an ongoing project for months as well.
The real dirty work started over the summer and I don’t know if I thanked some folks who came out and helped with the initial digging in, so I’ll do it today.
Shae Ashe and the Norristown Project was a huge help.
Shae came down for several Saturdays when the place was in its most dire straits.
We’re talking nitty-gritty dirt band kind of cleaning.
And there was a lot of heavy lifting as well.
Oh thank heaven for youth.
Since then we’ve been doing some cosmetic improvements as well.
The lobby and the reception area both have fresh coats of paint on them.
We had all of the cove molding torn up and we’re waiting on a cost for new flooring in the reception area before putting it back down. We also got six new cocktail tables for the reception area, which really makes an impression on guests when they come in for a show.
And speaking of shows.
Yes, another great segue.
Starving Artist Prevention, which is operated by Steve Zeigler and Matt Durkin, has been packing the house the past couple of months with local comedians, and they just held their first open mic night this past Friday.
I’m sure it was a rousing success.
This coming Friday we’re hosting a Black History Month event that will have a little something for everyone.
Howard Scott is putting the whole thing together, partially with a healthy helping from his own collection of African American artifacts.
There will be a display on the first floor in the reception area and there will be music and skits being performed in the theater on the fourth floor. Howard has a uniform worn by Norristown’s first black police officer, and a replica of the Rosetta stone among his collection.
And before I forget, for all of you theater buffs out there, we have a play coming in June. There will be plenty more coming on that as it starts taking shape, but a lot of people have been asking when there will be another production in the space that for so long was home to Iron Age Theater.
Before the play, we have even more in store for you.
A young man approached me and asked about putting on an event that he has dubbed the “Peace and Love Concert.”
Woodstock here we come!
I know I started this column with the line about shameless self-promotion, but bringing the theater back to life is going to do so much more than just rejuvenate an historic building in town.
Here’s a quick example of what I’m talking about.
When I’m not helping out down at the theater I’m really into golf. Now, living in this neck of the woods means I really have a lot of time to help out down at the theater during this time of the year, but during the summer months I’m a golfing fanatic.
Now every year, toward the end of the season my golfing buddies and I always plan a winter get together.
Well, the same thing happens, I’m guessing, with a lot of the golf groups in this area.
I know it does for a woman who got in touch with me a couple of weeks ago, and her group is a lot larger than mine. She sent me an email asking if there was anything for her group to do in the Norristown area.
Ding, ding, ding, ding.
I steered her right to Comedy Night at the theater.
She loved the idea, and then asked about a place where a group of at least 10 could go for dinner before the show.
I steered her right to August Moon on Main Street in Norristown.
Hopefully you see where I’m going with this, right?
The success of the theater can and will lead to the success of Norristown.
That’s the way it works.
Success breeds success.
This column is more about just promotion. Let’s forget the shameless part.
We need everyone to promote Norristown, not just the people working hard to bring it back to life.
That’s why I’ve always been a huge fan of Theatre Horizon.
There’s plenty of room in Norristown for two theaters, especially when we’re promoting different offerings for folks to enjoy.
Hey, most of the dirty work is done, all you have to do now is come out and enjoy. So bookmark our website, https://thecentretheater.wordpress.com/ and like us on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Centretheater/?ref=hl and you’ll be in the know with all of the goings on at the theater.
Oh, and shame on you if you’re not helping promote the good things that are taking place in Norristown.