Public radio to revive movie palace in Redding, Calif.
The State of Oregon now owns a 1935 movie house in downtown Redding, Calif. — acquired June 30  to serve as the Redding bureau of Oregon's Jefferson Public Radio and eventually as a venue for its series of concerts.
The purchase of the art-deco Cascade Theatre fits the style of Jefferson, which makes a point of ignoring the state boundary that splits its listening territory of southern Oregon and northern California.
"If you can picture Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in a black-and-white musical, that's what it looks like," says Jefferson General Manager Ron Kramer.
Jefferson's nonprofit arm, JPR Foundation, signed the $550,000 agreement in April to purchase the building from United Artists Theater Circuit Inc., and the Oregon State Board of Higher Education approved $800,000 in bond financing in June. The state will hold the title.
The Redding bureau, which had to vacate rented space, will move into one of the retail spaces in the theater building by the end of the year, says Kramer, and the facade will be remodelled at the same time. Kramer says renovation of the 1,200-seat auditorium, which will cost more than $1.5 million, will await a local fundraising campaign.
Jefferson, which offers one or two concerts a month in Ashland or Medford, Ore., will be able to expand into California, often booking the same acts on successive dates. Other nights, the Cascade may present movies that otherwise won't be shown in the area. And maybe Garrison Keillor will swing through Redding.
The movie palace, closed by UA two years ago, has a 90-foot fly space. A stage extended over the orchestra pit would be 27 feet deep.
Web page posted Aug. 6, 1999
Copyright 1999 by Current Publishing Committee