Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 25, 2013

Renaissance Theater project evolving through fundraisers

By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — An old theater on Mercer Street now has a new name to go along with its evolving new look.

The former Lavon Theater was recently christened the Renaissance Theater, said Lori McKinney, a volunteer with the Princeton Renaissance Project. Fundraising to finance those renovations are continuing.

“There’s been a lot of painting and a lot of cosmetic work on the front of the building,” McKinney said. “There’s been a lot of clearing out of the old material, making way for the new construction. That will start sometime in the beginning of the year.”

The theater’s original seats are staying, but they will be refurbished, McKinney said.

“The whole inside will be remodeled with a fresh new look,” she stated. “It’s going to be an art deco style. The colors are blue to hearken back to the Princeton tradition of blue. Princeton’s colors are blue and white.”

Donations to fund the renovations continue to come in.

“It’s going well,” McKinney said. “We have them steadily coming in, but we have a long road ahead.”

Greg Puckett, of Community Connections, estimated approximately $180,000 has been donated. The goal is $805,000. This sum will cover not only theater renovations, but also lighting, benches, landscaping, and other parts of the Princeton Renaissance Project on Mercer Street.

“We have purchased the theater,” Puckett said. Future fundraisers have been scheduled.

On Dec. 7, Jonathan Buckner and Chosen Road will have a faith-based bluegrass concert at the theater, McKinney said. On Dec. 20 and 21, there will be showings of the movie “A Christmas Tree Miracle” starring local actor Kevin Sizemore. A New Year’s Eve celebration called Downtown Countdown, which will feature music, a ball drop and Italian food, has also been scheduled.