Cameo Theatre's improvement plan gets state funding
Newberg's 83-year-old Cameo Theatre is about to get a few modern comforts.
Oregon's $620,000 Historic Theater Grant program will provide the downtown landmark $80,038 to replace a large part of its 350 seats, install new acoustical drapes and replace soffit lighting in the marquee. The theater also plans to install aisle lighting and make a few other changes that in character with its 1937 Art Deco structure.
Theater owner Brian Francis and the Newberg Downtown Coalition applied in mid-April for the funding. The program offers grants between $15,000 and $100,000 to properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or eligible to be on the national list, in towns of fewer than 30,000 people.
The Cameo was one of 14 theaters around the state seeking about $1.2 million in grants. The state Parks and Recreation Department announced the awards Monday, June 29.
The Cameo Theatre on Newberg's First Street was named in October 2018 to the National Register of Historic Places. It's been in the Francis family since 1940.
Francis said improvements could cost around $110,000. The theater has gathered about $29,400 in private grants to match state funding.
Work would begin in January 2021 and take about six months. The biggest part of the project would replace hundreds of aging, dilapidated seats in the theater's center section with more than 200 new Mobiliario Imperial seats with cupholders and reclining backs. About 80 of the theater's original 1937 seats would be moved to the sides (40 on each side) and the loges.
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