Those who grew up in Bellevue have many happy memories of being a kid in a fabulous town with under 9,000 population. But that was before shopping malls, Walmarts, and cineplexes.
Now, in 2015, we cannot visit our old elementary school or junior high. They are gone. The bowling alley is gone (both the one downtown and Jolly Lanes.) The old hospital where many of us were born is now a grassy lot. The newspaper is no longer daily. The radio station is gone. When out-of-town relatives come to visit it's OK to show them the new things, but often they want to see the old things. So many are no longer here.
One of the old things which has grown and prospered is the Carnegie-Stahl Library. It is still in the same location and has enjoyed several expansions. Recently it acquired the buildings located west of it, and they were razed to make room for expanded building and parking. This is great and will be a wonderful addition to Bellevue. However it was the end of the State Theater as we knew it.
While the demolition was underway, an inquiry was made about the marquee sign with the STATE letters on top. The demo people were very kind and gave it to the BSA if we would take it away. We did, and it has been in the BSA parking lot for over a year waiting to see what would become of it. It sometimes displays its original letters to let people know what is going on inside.
Recently a group of Bellevue people have inquired about using the BSA's 350 seat theater to show movies. It will not compete with the 10 theater cineplexes in nearby towns. It will be in and for Bellevue. It may show old westerns, or sci-fi, or cartoons. It could show Disney's "Frozen" and invite little girls to dress up like Anna or Elsa. It could have popcorn and soda. It could show independent films which are never available this side of Cedar-Lee. And it could be very affordable.
The BSA has six stage plays per year, being shown on nine or ten total weekends. The other Friday and Saturday nights are available for other kinds of events. Why not movies?
This proposal is to raise enough money to restore the old marquee sign to its old shiny appearance, and install it over the theater's entrance, and purchase a new digital projector. Everything else is in place. The location, the parking, the 28 foot movie screen, the lobby, the rest rooms. Even the website: www.bellevuearts.net .
So.....if 200 people gave $100 each, or if 2000 people gave $10 each, or any combination gave enough to total $20,000, Bellevue could again have movie nights. [Movies would not be every weekend, of course; the BSA will remain primarily a performing arts venue. But there would be movies on a regular basis and the BSA would solicit everyone's opinion as to what to show.]
The BSA is a 501(C)(3) tax exempt charitable nonprofit corporation, so your entire gift will be tax deductable.
Please consider a generous donation to bring back one of our great memories from growing up in the wonderful town.
Thanks, and we'll see you at the movies.
- nola skiles
- Robert and Samantha Buckner
- Jeff and Paula Crosby
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