Cumberland Times-News

September 25, 2013

Palace Theatre preparing to reraise curtain

Wall collapse repaired; first performance to be held in November

Michael A. Sawyers
Cumberland Times-News

— FROSTBURG — The first performances to take place in the Palace Theatre since a wall collapsed in June will be the Roots concert on Nov. 9 and the annual Christmas movie on Dec. 7, according to Fred Powell, treasurer for the theater’s board of directors.

The Roots Music Series is devoted to bluegrass, folk, country, blues and gospel songs.

On June 5, a wall facing an alley between Main and Mechanic streets was badly damaged in a two-part collapse. The first incident was at 8 a.m. when an 18-square-foot section broke down. A second collapse that afternoon created a 15- by 18-foot hole and pulled electric wires out of the building.

“The wall is repaired,” Powell said Wednesday. “Now we have to begin work on the lobby.”

The concession stand and bar in the lobby were destroyed during the collapse and that area is gutted.

“The theater is fine,” Powell said. “In November we will have a temporary concession stand in place for the concert.”

Frostburg’s mayor and council stepped up with money to help with repairs.

“This summer the mayor and council approved a $10,000 request the theater had made from our hotel-motel tax revenues,” said City Administrator John Kirby.

The city kicked in another $10,000 from its economic development budget.

“The Palace is an important element of our Main Street economic development efforts,” Kirby said. “Preserving operations of the Palace is important.”

Since June, activities and showings scheduled at the Palace have taken place in locations such as City Place or the Lyric Theater. A jazz band performance was shifted to Mountain Ridge High School.

Occupants of upstairs apartments at the Palace were able to move back within a couple of weeks of the collapse, according to Powell.

Donations to help restore the lobby can be mailed to Palace Theatre, P.O. Box 321, Frostburg, MD 21532. To inquire, call Powell at 301-689-5605.

Contact Michael A. Sawyers at msawyers@times-news.com.