Facade Improvement

Phase I of the Facade Improvement Project, partially funded by a grant from the Kinsman Foundation was successfully completed in July 2017!

AJW Construction of Prosser, WA, were hired to complete the initial phase of the project, focusing primarily on the Green Room at the Princess.

Theatre manager Shara Forrister explains, “The Green Room at the Princess was actually built previous to 1920, while the Princess Theatre was built in 1919-1920. The Washington Dept of Archaeology & Historic Preservation is not certain, but believes a French-born stone mason or one of his assistants may have done the work on the Green Room, based on the particular style and craftsmanship. A stone mason’s work is like a fingerprint – unique to each craftsman.”

Working with their many subcontractors, AJW Construction paid meticulous attention to the work to be done for Phase I.  Stonework was repaired, repointed, and new mortar applied on both the Princess Theatre and the Green Room at the Princess.  Lights were installed under the Green Room’s awning, the wooden exterior doors  refinished, and a fresh coat of paint applied to the Green Room.

Completely rewiring then repainting the neon marquee and replacing the old neon tubes with LED lights – while retaining the historic look of the sign erected in 1947 – will be part of Phase II of our Facade Improvement, currently pending funding.

Remember – we need YOUR help to continue making those projects happen.  How can you help?

Donate: Valley Theater Company, the 501(c)(3) non-profit community theater troupe that owns and operates the Princess, welcomes donations to help us tackle these and other projects. Donations may be made online at https://squareup.com/store/princess-theatre or mailed to Princess Theatre, 1228 Meade Avenue, Prosser WA 99350.

Advocate: The Washington State Historical Society (WSHS) included Valley Theater Company’s plans for the Princess Theatre’s capital improvements as one of 35 projects on the Heritage Capital Projects 2017-2019 Prioritized Projects List.  This list is used by the Washington State Legislature as they determine the 2017-2019 state capital budget.  Please contact your state legislators and let them know how important VTC and the Princess are to you as a patron, and encourage their support of the Heritage Capital Projects funding as part of the state capital budget.  Visit http://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/ to find your legislators and contact them today!  Patrons can also pick up informational flyers at the Princess Theatre to share with fellow constituents, published and provided by the Washington State Historical Society.

VTC’s plans in their Heritage Capital Projects Fund grant application submitted in May 2016 for the 2017-2019 budget consideration include:

  • a complete electrical refurbishment and eventual upgrade of the failing neon marquee to more energy-efficient LED lights maintaining the historical look and feel of the neon;
  • commercial upgrades to the Green Room kitchen, making it more functional and user-friendly for a variety of events; and
  • resurfacing the concrete flooring in the Green Room for patrons’ comfort and safety.

WSHS has requested nearly $9 million in funding for 35 projects around the state, which range from $32,000 to $600,000.  VTC’s request for just under $114,000 is prioritized as 31st on that list. The Legislature may choose to fund all, part or none of our project, as part of the larger state budget, with an eye to stimulating the economy with construction jobs throughout the state.

Of the 35 projects on the Heritage Capital Projects’ list for the 2017-2019 budget period, VTC’s request is one of only seven in Eastern Washington, one of two in District 16, and the only one in Benton County.

UPDATE:  The Washington State Legislature has not yet passed a 2017-2018 Capital Projects Budget!  Thank you to the Tri City Herald for highlighting the ongoing issues caused by this unforeseen delay at the State Capitol in their September 3, 2017 article.