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2008 Lobby Remodel and Restoration
Every time we start remodeling at the Roxy, the project grows beyond the original plans. This is partly due to all the "surprises" you run into whenever you start working on any old building, but it's also caused by our desire to bring out as many of the original Roxy finishes and surfaces as we can when possible. This particular remodeling job has exposed several hundred square feet of the original Roxy plaster work that had been obscured by wood paneling for over 25 years. After this project, we not only have a new appreciation for the attention to detail that went into building the Roxy in 1930, but we're filled with questions like "how did they DO that?!"
The concession stand was originally built in the Roxy's lobby in 1953, a full 23 years after the theatre first opened. In 1981, we enlarged the lobby by  removing a few rows of seats, and installed a suspended tile ceiling to conceal some radiator pipes. The lobby has remained essentially the same since.

A fairly simple remodeling idea turned into a complete refurbishment of the concession stand. Read on to see how we got there!

The stairway wall was originally covered with  wood paneling sometime in the 1960s, as seen in the small picture to the right.

We thought that paneling looked bad, and removed it in 1979... and found two large holes in the original plaster!   So we re-covered the wall with brick paneling, and two years later we used the same pattern in the concession and hallways.
Our original plan was simply to remove all the brick paneling in the lobby and replace it with painted drywall, which is how the concession area was originally finished. This led to the decision to remove the  suspended ceiling, which exposed this florescent fixture and the radiator pipes, along with a heating duct and some wiring. New lighting was thus added to the list. The changes to the original plan began to mount up!
The previous colors of the original concession ceiling can be seen here. The line where the colors change is the point where the original back wall of the concession was before the 1981 enlargement. Here, the concession area is totally emptied for the major work to begin. 

Removing "all" of the brick paneling meant that we also needed to refinish the hallways leading from the auditorium to the lobby.

The paneling is removed. We called in a team from Pepsi-Cola to remove our Pepsi machine while the work went on...and that's when we discovered our back counter was beyond repair. Years of use had just worn it out. Our contractors had just one day to build a new cabinet and turn this disastrous scene into a fully functioning (although unfinished) concession stand!

In the left picture, you can see our main contractor, the very camera shy Tom Ungefug from Nova Construction, and Clay Espy, helper.

Don Hotter from Don's Electric installs new incandescent lighting in the ceiling, while a worker from Pepsi-Cola installs the Pepsi machine into the new countertop. Then the front counter and popcorn machine were slid back into place, temporarily, and we were back in business... a little rough around the edges, but the popcorn was as good as ever and that's what counts.

The Roxy is closed most Thursdays, so our contractors would schedule major work that day. For four weeks, our concession crew would remove nearly everything from the concession stand after the Wednesday shows so the work could continue until Friday afternoon, when we'd move essential equipment back into place again.
A nice change from the dark brick paneling!

That's Lynn Blakesley looking things over through the doorway. Lynn picked out most of the new colors for the project.

The new back counter has doors for the first time in this picture. Our "temporary" menu signs let people know our prices while new signage is being designed.

Though he's hard to spot in this picture, Jesse Hotter from Don's Electric works on adding outlets to the boxoffice. Originally, the office had just one outlet.  Now we have eight, and they're all in use!
Brad Matteson, flooring contractor, surveys the concession floor before removing the old laminate flooring and installing new linoleum.
Top picture, left: The new floor is in place, just waiting for our hard-working crew to move everything (bottom picture) back into place yet again.

Remember the paneled stairway at the top of this page? Here it is without the paneling. The two gray areas in the corner are where there were holes in the wall, now patched. The red paint is the same color that was on the auditorium walls until 1982. 

One thing we knew we had to deal with in removing the suspended ceiling was this pair of pipes, which lead to the radiator in the back of the auditorium.  We decided to install an imitation wood beam to cover the pipes, with a matching beam on the other side. Notice the great job Tom did in matching the original 1953 wood with the new wood of the beams.

This picture (at right) was taken after all the major work was done. We've since added better signage and completed a bit more minor trim work.

The stairway now reveals an original wall that had been covered for over 30 years. The trim around the auditorium doorway (a relic of the 1950s) was also replaced with new trim that matches the rest of the lobby trim.

As with all of our remodeling projects, this one wouldn't have been possible without the support of our loyal moviegoers.  We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to Tom Ungefug for his patience and hard work with this ever-growing project.  ~ Mike and Lynn Blakesley