The Renovation 2019-2020
‘I will never forget the first time I walked int the Theater. It was the Friday of Labor Day weekend in 2019. The rain was pouring down. At 3pm we walked into the lounge. . The electricity had been turned off during the previous winter. There were holes in the roof, water pouring down the walls. The floorboards were buckled from long-standing puddles. The pipes had frozen, and nothing was working. There was a bad smell everywhere.
But it happened instantly. I fell in love with my new baby. I’d always loved the theater – had spent many evenings in the lounge, or listening to concerts, or enjoying the crackle of logs in the firepit on the bluestone patio outside. But this was different. There was work to do.
It was in need of a massive overhaul. The bones were good – everyone loves the shape of the ceilings, the feel of the stage, the sense of history and significance in the dressing rooms and the lounge. But the rest of it needed some TLC.
That was the first day of a long journey to pull up each damp and rusty fixture, and take a close inspection of each ceiling, floor, wall, drape, and piece of furniture. It was the start of mold remediation, of demolition, of hand sanding floors, and repairing the treasured acoustic panels in the ceiling.
We reinstated the damp, rotting velvet drapes with gorgeous new ones in black and peacock blue. We replaced the sad and lonely hard seating with something more comfortable. We literally dried out, remediated, scrubbed, polished, painted and in many cases replaced every inch of surface in the 8,000 sq. ft building.
And now it’s a jewel again – and something we want to share and celebrate with you.
Lizzie Vann, Owner
Step one – replace the roof! Water was our enemy, coming in from below ground and from frozen and broken pipes inside the building. But the most damaging source was rainwater. Lots of it. So step one, within a week of purchase in September 2019, was a new roof.
The neglected lounge had a thorough make-over. The glass separating the lounge from the auditorium has been replaced. We hand-sanded the floors, walls, and acoustic ceiling. And added beautiful new lighting over our fully renovated (and famous!) bar. Finishing off with a beautiful stylish paint job and new furnishings.
Two golden gods, discovered in a dusty corner in an antique store, now stand guard on either side of the stage. With gold fringed drapes, art deco lighting, and modern technology, as well as a Yamaha C7 grand piano and lovingly restored C3 organ, complete with Leslie speaker, the theater now has the centrepiece it deserves.
The green room, (where the artists relax before and after the show) was in a sorry state. We ripped out the walls and ceiling, and rebuilt it into a palace for the senses. Aside from practicalities (like an adjoining laundry and fully fitted kitchen – essential for touring artists), the main room is divided into two areas. A dining area that can house a large dinner, which doubles for VIP meet-and-greets. And the comfy cosy fireplace area, with relaxed seating, hand knotted rugs and a golden shrine, paying homage to Woodstock’s spirituality
From a must-avoid space with bad smells to must-visit rooms. Mike Dubois’s art have transformed the bathrooms – go see them!
‘Phew! It was a big restoration job (fifteen months), but we got there in the end – despite the weather, the endless water problems, and the pandemic. The essential parts of the Theater remain the same. But the cozy, comfortable and intimate space where you can get up close to the artists has been enriched with a charming open lounge looking onto the woodlands and the Sawkill Creek, and decorated in Mid-century Modern style. We celebrate our local, national and international artists at every turn.
I don’t care how much you pay for your event ticket. Everyone deserves a great performance in a beautiful space. The changes we have made improve and democratize the sound so that everyone gets an unforgettable experience’. Lizzie Vann, Owner