June 17, 1988|
BOWC squelches rumors: Hall is open
When members of the Banks of the
Wabash Chorus bought the Village Cinema in August 1986, members planned to use
it as their permanent rehearsal and performance hall. By the summer of 1987, the
chorus moved in although renovations were not completed. Members intended to
continue doing most of the work themselves. Then came the rumors. Had the chorus
bitten off more than it could chew? If so, would the theater be lost? With the
renovations now completed, the BOWC wants to squelch any more rumors.
Harmony Hall is finished and open
for business. And the group is in no financial danger. The Hall's transformation
from a movie theater to concert hall has been startling. The 358 seat theater,
decorated in the latest chic colors, has new flowered carpet, new paint and trim
and refurbished seats; it's original stylish sidewall lights were restored; it
has newly constructed stage, and the lobby greets visitors with drawings and
photos of barbershoppers Harmony Hall is heated and air conditioned, has basic
lighting and a basic public address system.
"We still have to renovate the
marquee, make dressing rooms backstage and redo the mortar in the front bricks,"
BOWC member Donn Jones said.
Financially the BOWC is solvent,
but there's still a long way to go to pay off the original $35,000 loan signed
for by six members, plus meet other expenses and maintain the building. The
chorus has probably doubled the value of the building with investments totaling
more that $48,000, said member Norm Trench. Treasurer Jeff Griggs said though
the BOWC is currently solvent, "We still need money to meet our financial
obligations without any problems."
The chorus's earning power lies
in its concerts, and two concerts are planned this summer. There is also
currently a campaign to sell seats in the hall to local sponsors. But Jones
says, "the greatest earning potential lies in renting the theater to outside
organization." Basic rental prices are $150 for the first four hours and $100
for each additional hour hour block. A refundable $100 damage and cleaning
deposit has been established. Other arrangements can be made for other rates,