Facade Improvement

After a long, harsh winter, Phase I of the Princess Theatre’s Facade Improvement Project has officially begun, partially funded by a grant from the Kinsman Foundation!

AJW Construction of Prosser, WA, has been contracted 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 in 1901, 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.”

In addition to repointing and repairing the stonework on the Green Room, the brick facade of the Princess will also be repaired, lights and lettering will be added to the Green Room awning for visibility and public safety, and portions of the facade will be repainted, dependent on available capital funding.  There will likely be a few stages before Phase I is completed so some of the changes may be subtle for the time, but keep an eye out for improvements.

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 one of the last facade improvement phases.  And we need YOUR help to make those projects happen.

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/valley-theater/ or mailed to VTC, 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 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.