Ludlow stands up for new theater seats
By Kevin O’Connor
Staff Writer | January 28,2014
The Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium is raising money to replace its seats — many of which date back to the theater’s opening in 1923.
LUDLOW — The 1923 Town Hall Auditorium boasts a restored stage and newly enlarged, electronically controlled movie screen. As for its wooden seats, they’re the stuff of history — or at least the theater’s caretakers hope they soon will be.
“The leather is worn off and the padding is essentially gone,” said Ralph Pace, chairman of the Friends of Ludlow Auditorium. “I haven’t met very many people who’d like to revisit them.”
That’s why the volunteer nonprofit organization is aiming to raise an estimated $9,000 to $13,000 to replace the original chairs with 200 softer, stackable seats by the time the curtain comes down on the year.
“We decided it was time for area residents to enjoy comfortable seating in the venue,” Pace said. “If you know anybody who is interested in buying antique chairs, we certainly have a number of them.”
The organization — formed in 2007 after the town restored the theater — also is studying the feasibility of offering satellite-transmitted live concerts ranging from pop to opera, as well as the addition of programs from the Vermont Humanities Council.
“There’s a whole gamut of things we could be looking at,” Pace said. “It’s a question of how much of an audience would there be. We’re trying to give people a local option without competing with other places.”
The auditorium will host Weston Playhouse acting and cabaret classes taught by Broadway actress Susan Haefner this March and April, with more information available by contacting Weston education director Jacki Brown at 297-7364.
With the new screen, volunteers are continuing to present a monthly Saturday-night movie. Next up: “Lincoln” at 7 p.m. Feb. 1.
As for live shows, they’re currently rehearsing the second annual “FOLA Follies” revue, featuring music from Hollywood movies set for March 29, and planning another fall “Black River Folk and Blues Fest” after the first drew four regional bands and more than 200 people.
More information is available on the website www.fola.us, by calling 228-7239 or emailing email@example.com.