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Center Theatre renovations to be revealed at April 25 Chamber Business After Hours

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — The Center Theatre, the county’s most iconic landmark, recently underwent some significant renovations, and on Thursday, April 25 from 5-7 p.m. area business owners are invited to the Piscataquis Chamber’s Business After Hours event for the big reveal, in addition to an enjoyable evening of networking and socializing. This will be a member-only private event, and an RSVP is appreciated but not required. Those who plan to attend can call the Chamber to RSVP at 564-7533.

Attendees can expect a cash bar, light refreshments including coffee and tea, delectable desserts, door prizes and entertainment.

Renovations include new carpeting throughout, new paint in the bathrooms and lobby and newly refinished hardwood floors. However;what movie-goers will be most excited about is the new seats, which are a significant upgrade over the previous seats.

The original seats were donated by Sid Epstein and Epstein Property Management 15 years ago when the Bangor Mall Cinemas underwent reservations. Ironically, Bangor Mall Cinemas were again renovating their auditoriums in 2018 and Epstein Commercial Properties was trying to decide what to do with the used, but still serviceable, seats. They reviewed the file from the last renovation in the early 2000s and found out about the donation to the Center Theatre. They contacted Patrick Myers, the executive director of the Center Theatre, to see if he would like another set of seats.

“It was a wonderful call to receive out of the blue,” Myers said. “Our old brown seats had served us well over the years since our opening in 2006, but were definitely showing their age. The new seats are much more comfortable. They have more leg room and cup holders with every seat.”

Myers also said getting the work done at the Theatre was a true community effort, “We were able to pay for the work and materials thanks to a grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation. Besides the donated seats from Epstein Commercial Properties, we benefited from hundreds of hours of labor from the Mountain View Correctional Restitution Crew and our own volunteers, as well as donations from Penquis Rental and Webber Ace Hardware and endless patience and assistance from our friends at Dave’s World and True Value Hardware.”

Myers is also extremely thankful to the staff of the Theatre who all pitched in to help clean and repaint the bathrooms and lobby, and who put up with the disruptions while the work was going on.

“As a chamber,” said Executive Director Denise Buzzelli, “we are so grateful to have Center Theatre here in Dover-Foxcroft; in addition to the convenience of seeing new movie releases here, rather than driving an hour to Bangor; the Theatre provides wonderful programming for people of all ages, live shows and serves as a venue for other events and activities.”

She continues, “In a rural part of the state, it makes a big difference to our region to have a thriving community theatre, and it warms my heart that so many came together for these renovations with monetary donations and man-power. Just another great example of how well we work together here in Piscataquis County.”

Myers hopes the April 25 event will be well-attended, “We had a public event a couple of weeks back to reveal our renovations to local residents, but I do hope that our local business owners will stop in on the 25th to see all that we have accomplished here.”

Center Theatre’s next live event “Seussical Jr.” will take place the weekend of May 3-4, then again on the 10th and 11th. This children’s performance is sponsored by Foxcroft Vets and Dave’s World/US Cellular. Ticket pricing and other information can be found at centertheatre.org or by visiting the box office.

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