Article Includes Video
Masonic Theatre in Clifton Forge turning a new page
By Lindsey Ward
Published: February 15, 2010
Updated: February 15, 2010
CLIFTON FORGE – The lights are on, but no one’s home.
At the Historic Masonic Theatre in Clifton Forge they’re working hard to put hometown people in the empty seats.
It was once a stage for the likes of Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and Tex Ritter and now it sits empty and cold in the off season.
John Hillert is helping lead the effort to breathe life back into this once iconic theatre.
“We’re trying to make this much more than just a performing and a movie venue, it’s also going to be a community venue where folks can come in from all over,” explained Hillert, President of the Masonic Theatre Preservation Foundation.
Hillert shows us the preliminary sketches of the upcoming changes, and by upcoming he means very soon.
“We have a very aggressive time line. We have set 11-11-11 as our target date for completion of this whole project,” Hillert said.
To turn the place into the gem it once was, it’s going to take a lot of money, maybe upwards of $5 million, but where that money comes from, they’re really not sure yet.
“We’re doing a ton of grant writing, we’re going to do some local fundraising, obviously. I think we almost have to tap into every source that we can come up with,” he explaine