Catching up at the Close/Beginning of the Year

Hello, Sunrisers and Others!

We’ve got some catching up to do!

Back on Friday the 13th, in the Year of Our Lori, we visited the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts.

We gathered in the lobby, enjoying noshes from Los Bagels, along with our Kinetic Koffee. Here you can see Then-President Lori with some of her loyal Sunrisers in the sunrise light, with Katie taking a break on the stairs.

Our tour guide was David Kenworthy, the Technical Director for the Center. David said that he’s the one who “takes care of the details” for each production.

David said that Sweasey Theater first opened in 1920, but nine years later, a fire forced its closure. A year later, it reopened as Loew’s State Theater, and it was an active movie theater until 1973, when the Daly’s Department Store moved into the building.

Rob and Cherie Arkley purchased the building in 2003, and began the restoration project. In 2007, the theater reopened as the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts. David said that the decor includes new elements, such as the chandeliers, which were purchased in San Diego. But many period touches remain, including the gold pillars, which were carved in the 1920’s.

The facility originally seated about 1300 patrons, but the current capacity is 770. The reduction was the result of a combination of newer safety regulations and the Arkley’s desire to expand the lobby.

We were able to take the stage, where we were treated to an actor’s view of the Center. David told us that “above your heads is about 30,000 pounds of equipment”, including lights, bars, counterweights, and other implements of the theater. The Center also has a fully-restored 1928 Steinway piano, and they are in the process of building a lift to store it safely.

From the stage, we descended to the dressing rooms, David’s office, and the bar and kitchen area, before heading up to the balcony for some final remarks and a Q and A session.