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Historic Bungalow Theater in downtown Woodburn hosts movie fundraiser Feb. 22

INDEPENDENT PHOTO: LINDSAY KEEFER - The Bungalow Theater will host a fundraiser event Feb. 22 before roofing and seismic upgrades.The Bungalow Theater in downtown Woodburn is hosting what supporters hope is a precursor to things to come.

The public is invited to attend a red carpet fundraising event Feb. 22 at the Bungalow Theater. The event, which is from 7 to 10 p.m., will feature the film "Singin' in the Rain" as well as refreshments, which include mocktails, dessert and, of course, popcorn. There will also be a silent auction with proceeds going toward Friends of the Bungalow Theater.

The theater, which is attached to the Woodburn Historical Museum, is one of four in Oregon to be awarded a $100,000 matching grant from Oregon Heritage, a division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, in 2017. The money will go toward roofing and seismic upgrades and will be matched by the city of Woodburn, which owns the property. That project is anticipated to begin shortly after the Feb. 22 event.

"We want to keep the museum and the Bungalow in people's minds," said Jesse Cuomo, recreation services manager for the city. "We cleaned out the Bungalow side, we set up the old seats in there, made sure the projector is working and cleared out a lot so we can do this event before construction."

The silent auction money will largely go toward internal improvements, he said.

"When it comes to interior work, like cosmetic fixes, it's a lot harder to get grant funding, so this allows for when we do interior work we will have something there as well," Cuomo said.

He added that the hope is there will be improvements to the facade next year.

Once restored, the theater will be used for local theatrical performances, music and dance recitals, movie screenings and other activities.

That's why the Feb. 22 fundraiser will give guests a taste of what's to come once renovations are completed.

"We're decorating by putting up temporary fixes on it, so it'll be a more intimate feel, a nice little date night," Cuomo said. "It'll be nice to get some nostalgia going."

The event will also include a 15-minute segment done on Gene Stoller, who not only served as editor and publisher of the Woodburn Independent, but actually came to Woodburn to be a projectionist at the Bungalow Theater in the 1930s.

The Bungalow Theater operated as a movie theater from about 1910 to 1954. The building was built in 1894, according to the city.

In the 1990s, the city purchased the Bungalow and the adjoining museum, which was founded in 1986.

The museum received an $8,000 grant from Oregon Heritage in 2015 to install new exhibits that were more reflective of Woodburn's diverse history. The Feb. 22 event will be limited to 22 couples (or 44 guests). The cost is $50 per couple. Register online at woodburnparks.org, at the Woodburn Aquatic Center or by calling Cuomo at 503-982-5266. Single tickets can be arranged by calling Cuomo.

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