Say goodbye to what has become known as “auditorium butt”, the soreness that comes from sitting in sagging and outdated seats.
The Prince Charles Theatre was a hive of activity last week as volunteers worked with a professional installer to replace 300 seats that were refurbished when the facility was built nearly 30 years ago.
“This is a great day for everyone who uses this facility,” said Joanna Wilson, Creston Community Auditorium Society president, as she took a break from the task at hand. “When we set out to raise the necessary funds to buy new seats it looked like it would take many years.”
The initial fundraising effort to attract individual and corporate donors got a major boost when Creston and District Credit Union announced it would match donations up to a $25,000 total. Then the unexpected happened. When plans to create an arts centre on Canyon Street fell apart, Regional District of Central Kootenay Area C director Larry Binks, Area B director Tanya Wall and Area A director Garry Jackman agreed to redirect its community grants to the auditorium. Those grants, totaling $57,000, put the fundraising effort over the top.
“It seemed at times that it was taking forever,” Wilson said. “But we had to find a source for new seats and you can’t just go to a store and buy them.”
Once the seats arrived two weeks ago, the installation process moved quickly. After the old seats were removed by volunteers school district employees prepared the floor and an installer was scheduled. More than a dozen enthusiastic volunteers worked long days, with help from PCSS students at times.
“This is a group of dedicated people,” Wilson said. “We have accomplished quite a wonderful feat for our community.”
The first performances in the theatre includes this weekend’s Creston Valley Music Teachers’ Association Tapestry concerts, a Nov. 7 auditorium society concert celebrating the seats’ installation, and the Creston Concert Society’s Nov. 17 presentation of Gordie MacKeeman and the Rhythm Boys.