Celebrating the 10 year anniversary of The Tower Theatre restoration through the exhibit Welcome to the Tower Theatre. Developed as part of Preservation Month activities, the exhibit shows how the community rallied to save the defunct theater and preserve a historic landmark. Built in 1940, its neon marquee harkens back to a time when Wall Street was the Dalles-California Highway and neon signs dominated downtown building store fronts.
“I don’t think anyone can imagine downtown Bend without the theatre, yet it almost happened. The rehabilitation of the Tower into a successful performing arts center is a testament to the value of preserving our historic structures,” said Kelly Cannon-Miller, executive director for the Des Chutes Historical Museum.
Historic preservation promotes socially, culturally, and economically rich communities. The exhibit highlights how revitalizing an iconic building re-shaped the performing arts in Bend.
“Since reopening in 2004, the Tower has welcomed 425,000 people to 1,800 events, and has added $2,358,000 to Bend’s economy this season alone,” said Ray Solley, Executive Director of the nonprofit Tower Theatre Foundation. “The 10th anniversary is the perfect milestone to collaborate with the Museum and celebrate how hundreds of dedicated individuals helped preserve and restore a local landmark.”
On display are original balcony chairs and the last film projector to show movies in the theater. Visitors can also share their favorite memories of the theater over the years. The exhibit runs through September 1.
The Des Chutes Historical Museum explores the history, culture and heritage of the people of Deschutes County, from the area’s early years to today. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 4:30pm. Admission is $5 for adult general admission, $2 for youth 13-17 years-old, and children 12 years and younger are free with a paid adult admission.