Starts Wednesday Blog

 Victoria Hallerman is a poet and writer, the author of the upcoming memoir, Starts Wednesday: A Day in the Life of a Movie Palace, based on her experience as a movie palace manager of the St. George Theatre, Staten Island, 1976. As she prepares her book manuscript for publication, she shares early aspects of theater management, including the pleasures and pain of entrepreneurship. This blog is for anyone who enjoys old movie theaters, especially for those who love the palaces as they once were. And a salute to those passionate activists who continue to save and revive the old houses, including the St. George Theatre itself. This blog is updated every Wednesday, the day film always arrived to start the movie theater week. 

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The Majestic Theatre in Streator could be one step closer to restoring its former glory.

On Tuesday, the Plan Commission unanimously recommended the city council award a $15,000 facade grant to owner Katie Troccoli. The recommendation will go before the council for approval at next Wednesday's meeting. Troccoli said the grant would be earmarked for tuckpointing and to replace windows.

"At the present, my plan is to stabilize the building," she said. "Once the building is stabilized, we will move forward with doing work on the inside. I'm planning to bring in an architect to look at the Granada to get some ideas on the best way to utilize that building."

Some ideas she has brainstormed for the Granada portion of the building is a restaurant overlooking City Park or a bed and breakfast, but said she is open to ideas.

Troccoli said she was able to do some work on the leaking roof in February, which she had planned to do when her former business partner boarded up the front. She also is looking for bids to install a sprinkler system and new front doors.

"It's going to take a lot of work and it's not going to happen overnight, at least a couple of years," she said. "The sooner I get it up and operational, the happier I'll be."

Troccoli noted it is not her plan to compete with the Streator Eagle 6 theater at Northpoint Plaza, noting the Majestic has a stage she would like to use for live entertainment and to stream on the web on WRWO's Here and Again, a radio station based in Ottawa at 94.5 FM.

"Those are the kind of things that can put Streator on the map," she said. "When you start broadcasting over the internet, you can reach a lot of people."

Troccoli's long-term goal is to get the Majestic on the National Registry of Historic Places.

"I think it belongs there and deserves protection," she said.

"It's a clean slate. (This is) our opportunity to do what's right for the building and make it the fantastic building that it really is."

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