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City gives final approval for Park restoration
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McMinnville officials voted unanimously on second and final read to spend $2 million to renovate the Park Theatre. Once work begins, construction must be complete in one year.
Voting in favor of the measure on Tuesday were Mayor Jimmy Haley, Vice Mayor Ben Newman and Aldermen Ken Smith, Jimmy Bonner, Rick Barnes and Billy Wood. Alderman Mike Neal was absent.
Along with a base bid of $1.685 million, officials selected five alternate bids: 1) basement renovation $10,000; 2) rear addition for dressing rooms and bathrooms $215,000; 3) bathrooms $5,000; 4) terrazzo repair $29,500; and 5) orchestra pit $69,173.
The total cost of renovation is set at $2,013,673.
Even though the city has given the project its final approval, the state comptroller still has to sign off on the deal. When that happens, W&O Construction can begin work. The company will be operating on a 365-day contract.
Officials are shooting for an October 2014 opening date because Cowan Oldham’s grand opening of Park Theatre was held Oct. 24, 1939. Oldham spent $50,000 constructing what was the most modern building and movie theatre of its time with seating for 1,000 people.
The last movie shown at Park Theatre was “Transformers: The Movie.” It aired the Saturday night at the beginning of fair week in Warren County in 1986. Traditionally closed the week of the fair, the theatre would not reopen.
Park Theatre has been in the city’s hands since 2001. The property was leased to the Park Theatre Group for approximately 10 years. The group tried to generate the funds necessary for renovation but was unsuccessful.
In a prior meeting, officials agreed to allow Park Theatre Group members to document the process of renovation for historical purposes.