I have not had TV for a long time so this must have occurred at least 20 years ago. It was on Channel 5’s Chronicle. A man was explaining how he had been part of a campaign to save an architectural gem in the west of Ireland. They sold shares in the hotel, restored it and got it up and running. What did participants get for the investment? An upscale looking tie with the company symbol and a promise that they would never see a penny from their investment.
I remembered that when I heard of another idea for saving the Casino in Ware. The thought is that the seats would be sold to people in the community and that could raise the money necessary for the renovations.
This is actually and old tradition here in Nova Anglia. Theaters in Boston from about 1794 thru 1908 were financed through pre selling seats, even auctioning off future seats. In Beverly about 30 years ago EM Loews CABOT theater closed. A few town professionals go together and saved it as "LaGrand David Magic show" they have been to the White House three times, done off Broadway productions and have a full movie schedule. In Maine and New Hampshire have restored old opera houses by pre selling seats.
Outside of our region, there's a Drive In Theater in Pennsylvania (I believe) that closed and the town was not going to let it die. Now the whole town owns the Drive In, and of course they all show up to "Their Drive In." Bet the birth rate is up in that burg.
The end result would be a non profit theater that sort of belonged to the whole town.
The Casino supporters facebook is here.
A blog about movies and the Sturbridge area, including The Brookfields, Brimfield, Charlton, Holland, Wales, and Spencer as well as adjacent towns.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Above, local produce being sold at the Amherst Farmers Market. Let's make this happen in WB.
Tonight the our West Brookfield town meeting will vote on whether to allow a farmers market to happen before the Concerts on the Common. Amy Dugas has been working on this for a while now and the meeting will decide if it will happen.
Okay, I know that going to the town meeting is as much fun as oral surgery, but we all have to take one for the team here. It is at 7:00 pm at the elementary school. Hope you can show up.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Picture above: Tony Woodman, expert with heavy equipment selling tickets for a gazebo to support the town bandstand. His wife Cheryl is in the middle of the three behind the table.
The Sun was shining, the temperature pleasant and the West Brookfield Common was packed. If you missed the Asparagus Festival, there are 12 months of regret ahead. Of course you can go out and buy some asparagus and fry it or steam it, but it won't be the same. All the music and events that happened will be a tad difficult to recreate at home.
Congratulations to Amy Dugas and her staff. It had to be an enormous amount of work to put the day on.
Support Amy's efforts to get a farmers market. Come to the town meeting on Tuesday and vote yes.
Friday, May 14, 2010
It was at least ten years ago when the first Asparagus Festival was held in West Brookfield. The organizers did all they could, the day came and success. The location on the stereotypical New England common at the junction of routes 9 and 67 could not have been better. The entertainment was local and fun.
So now the festival is a town institution. It is expertly run by Amy Dugas and staff. The weather is forecast as sunny in the 70s. So, take a break from the Brimfield Antique shows and come up to West Brookfield and enjoy some asparagus which will be served all day.
If you want to read more about the day, let me shamelessly self promote the article I wrote last year for the Sturbridge Times Magazine. Click here and then on the left, click on the link to the May, 2009 issue and go to page 5.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
When my son was about five or six, he said to his godmother, "Ask me what I'm interested in." Upon the prompted question being asked, he replied, "Robots" I did not think too much about it. We did make a robot costume for Halloween and after an extended time where the interest sustained itself, we new this was his field.
Before he was high school age, he was part of the WPI associated FIRST Robotics Team. FIRST Robotics is a competition founded by inventor Dean Kamen. FIRST stands for, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. It is not Battlebots, where machines exist to tear each other apart. Rather, a game is worked up wherein teams of robots work as alliances to defeat another alliance by scoring points.
Ciarán is now a senior at WPI and still is part of the team though the rigorous engineering course of study means he is not as involved as before. Yesterday was the final day of the WPI sponsored Battlecry FIRST event. Teams from all over the country competed.
If you have a child who has a mechanical bent, look to see if there is a FIRST team in your area and point him or her toward it. They will get to spend time with kids who share their interests. It may reap rewards later on. Take it from me, it is a field with more of a future than majoring in history.
The FIRST website is http://www.usfirst.org/
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
The May issue of the Sturbridge Times Magazine has been out for a few days, so it is time to shamelessly self promote. I am less of an underachiever this month than last, but not by much.
Have you been to Capen Hill Nature Sanctuary? It's nearby and perfect for taking a break and seeing a little of nature. You can read about it on Page 4.
On Page 18 my column looks at the upper house of our national legislature.
Of course, it's not all about me:). There are many entertaining and useful articles that I had nothing to do with. You can read the magazine online by clicking here and downloading a pdf, or you can click on the graphic below to find out where to pick one up.