Mason County News
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Odeon Theater Changes
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 • Posted January 28, 2009

The Odeon Preservation Association Board of Directors hosted the first in a series of mixers in November, during the busy Thanksgiving weekend, to announce to the community, the upcoming plans for the new improvements slated for the treasured 80 year old Odeon Theater. Around 65 community members were able to break away from their Holiday commitments to join the board at The Square Plate for wines generously donated by Sandstone Cellars and heavy hors d’ oeuvres donated by Tres Lunas Catering. The Square Plate generously donated the space for the event.

Architectural renderings by the well known historical preservationist and theatrical design architect, Killis Almond, were on display for review and attendees were informed of the varying professional improvements that are slated for the renovation. All renderings and design fees were given pro-bono by the architect and include such additions as digital projection, state of the art sound, a full theatrical expansion with dressing rooms and back stage areas suitable for concerts and live theatre, in addition to the consistent, uninterrupted schedule of showing current movies.

Following the mixer, guests walked with the OPA Board to the candlelit Odeon Theater to hear a four-piece, Austin based chamber orchestra’s performance and a dramatic one-man, mini-monologue performance, both of which illustrated for the group in attendance the varying options of enrichment that can be found in our area that could utilized by a professional performance/movie theatre. Following the performances, Board President, Spider Johnson addressed the audience with an eloquent over-view of the importance of arts in our community and the need for contributions from the community to support the renovations and improvements. As mentioned by Spider Johnsin, “All of the planning has been done and 100 percent of the donations will go directly into action and will apply towards matching grants, meaning there are programs that will allow the Odeon to qualify for a dollar of grant money for every dollar donated.” By the end of the night, donations in the neighborhood of $3,000 were collected.

The Odeon Theater is quite clearly, a “real, rare gem” in Mason. It is a major asset for the city and the region, bringing citizens from area cities into Mason and boosting the local economy. The grand Odeon is poised for a make-over and the time has come to ask for your help in raising funds for THE ODEON’S MATCHING GRANTS PROGRAM in order to advance the cultural development, artistic education and area tourism that can be a vital part of the new artistic economy of the Hill Country.

As a society, we are defined by our artistic achievements. Our attitudes, our self-esteem, our compassion are all articulated through the arts. When the lights at The Odeon dim and the movie starts, or in the future, when performers take the stage, the theatre comes alive and we are each transported to new worlds. Dancers, singers, musicians and actors can magically take us to another place and time via their live performance. We are asking and relying on you, our generous donors, to help with this vast revitalization to help make this magic happen. Your tax deductible contributions will help us to bridge the gap and remodel, renew and refresh this legendary landmark, taking it into a new world of performing arts and live entertainment that will help make Mason a destination for artistic achievement.

The mission of The Odeon Theater is to enrich the cultural lives of our community members and visitors by presenting a meaningful venue of performing arts.

The Objectives are to offer meaningful education initiatives, community partnerships and to offer a broad, balanced array of quality performances of music, acting, film, film festivals and dance and to broaden the base of understanding, appreciation and support for the arts.

Community and educational outreach is not limited to, but shall include, the option for school children from throughout the region to attend performances at the theatre and for visiting artists to share their talents with area schools and to provide lectures and demonstrations at the theatre for the schools and for the public. The educational outreach can also provide the offering of master classes directed by visiting artists as well as offering, when possible and appropriate, the use of the theatre for school productions and so, so much more.

The improved theatre will also be available for rent to other concert promoters and for weddings, parties, special events, etc.

Please mark your calendar for March 6, and bring along your own cooler as concert promoter, Dennis Evans, presents Tish Hinojosa performing live at The Odeon as the first in a series of concerts that will kick off, not only additional enrichment activities at The Odeon, but the beginning of The Odeon’s Matching Grant Campaign. Won’t you help us? For more information, contact c.conlee@yahoo.com or go to the new Odeon Theater website http://TheOdeonTheater.com

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