Local businesses support Waldo rebirth

Feb 26, 2019
A vintage theater curtain at the Waldoborough Historical Society Museum has some familiar names.

Waldoboro — The Waldo Theatre Board of Directors has been busy finalizing the Raise the Roof portion of its three-phase Capital Campaign to reopen the Waldo and as soon as there is favorable weather, the roofers will be at work. The next phase will focus on renovations of the building’s interior including insulation installation, plaster repair, seating refurbishment, restroom repairs — and the hiring of an executive director.

The Waldo board expressed gratitude to the local businesses and organizations that have generously sponsored the theater this winter and helped make the first phase fundraising efforts a success. They include Lash Realty Group, Waldoboro Business Park, Tidemark Gallery and Café, Northeast Transport, BugTussle Brooder and Annex, Laura Cabot Catering, the Waldoboro Business Association, Maine Antique Digest and Viking Lumber.

Many have shared what the Waldo has meant to families in the past, and what a revitalized theater could mean for the future of Waldoboro and the surrounding area.

The Waldoboro Business Association, which includes 86 members of the local small business community, said it believes that when it again opens its doors to all Midcoast communities, “the Waldo Theatre will restore vibrancy to Waldoboro village and reclaim its important role as a collaborative partner with schools, businesses and nonprofits.”

Many of the businesses supporting the Waldo today have been supporting it for decades. Waldoboro Historical Society recently shared an image of a curtain banner from the 1930s featuring local business names. This was typical of the kinds of curtain banners found in town halls, granges and theaters from the 1890s through 1940. Jean Lawrence, president of the Historical Society, said that there were two theater curtains in Waldoboro: Winslow’s Mills; and another at Clark’s Hall, which was located on the right side of Main Street as one moves down the hill towards the bridge.

“When Clark’s Hall was demolished in the 1960s, that curtain vanished (probably swept up by an antiques collector who knew its value). In the day, theater curtains were made by various companies for advertising purposes. More than likely a salesman came to town and sold advertising space on the curtain,” she said.

This curtain is now on permanent display at the historical society museum. For more information about its time in economic and cultural history, visit curtainswithoutborders.org.

The Waldo board is committed to developing the Waldo as a cultural center, educational facility, lecture and seminar space — and a top-talent venue for the enrichment and entertainment of youth and the wider community. The Waldo Theatre welcomes donations and sponsorships from the business community for next phase of the campaign. While the organization has many talented volunteers for different projects ready to go, funds are needed to purchase materials and to hire some professional services.

By investing in this project, local businesses can help make the Waldo a place where people of all ages can come together to find their voice, tell their stories and celebrate the arts. For information on how to help, email info@thewaldotheatre.org or visit waldotheatre.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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