Licking County News

Pataskala

Sterling Theater had a ‘golden’ year

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Andrea Kjerrumgaard/ThisWeek
Dean Ramsey, a member of the Sterling Theater Restoration Group, said the new golden stage curtain was one of many improvements and renovations made to the historic theater in 2011.
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Pataskala’s Sterling Theater was the scene of many renovations, additions and great events in 2011, and more improvements are planned.

Theater board member Ann Ramsey said the theater, located on the second floor of the old Pataskala Town Hall, 430 S. Main St., has all new windows, a new sound system, new blinds and a new projector and movie screen. The stage floor was refinished, as well.

To top it off, she said, the “Golden Curtain Club” raised $15,000 in three weeks to purchase a new golden stage curtain.

“It just made the whole theater,” said her husband, Dean, a Sterling Theater Renovation Group member. “It caused it to look like a real theater.”

He said enough money may be left over to purchase some new carpet for the theater.

Ann Ramsey said she is on a committee with Kay Cameron and Jean Klema. The committee created the theater’s bylaws and operational procedures, and the theater hired consultant Michael Morris, owner of Partnership Consulting and former executive director of Newark’s Midland Theatre.

“(Morris) has helped so much,” she said.

She said, among other assistance, he’s helped the theater board work with the city of Pataskala, which owns the building.

Dean Ramsey said the city council and Mayor Steve Butcher “have really gotten on board” with the renovation project and are helping to install a boiler on the second floor and have provided the theater with an electrical circuit separate from the rest of the building.

“We have our own (electrical) panel now,” Ramsey said.

He said the city repaired the roof and stairs and replaced many windows.

“It’s become a real functioning building,” he said.

Butcher said all the effort that’s been put into the theater reflects very positively upon the city and its surrounding areas.

“(They are) all huge improvements to the community,” he said.

Such good work, Butcher said, not only improves Pataskala aesthetically, but also attracts people, businesses and economic development to the city.

Ann Ramsey said many people have been generous to the theater restoration group. She said 15 to 18 people regularly attend theater meetings. Plans are being made to hold a wedding at the theater in April.

“This will be the first wedding I remember there,” Dean Ramsey said.

Ann Ramsey said the Rick Brunetto big band has played at the theater twice.

“People were dancing in the aisles,” she said.

This holiday season, the theater hosted another successful “White Christmas in Pataskala” event, which included a dinner at the neighboring Pataskala United Methodist Church, a movie and a gingerbread-house auction.

Ramsey said she’s looking forward to a variety of programs at the theater next year. She also said the theater still lacks an elevator and restrooms.

“We keep hoping for a grant or some donations,” she said.

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