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Lincoln County Community Theater trustee speaks to Bristol Lions 05/10/2010

Posted by DS in meetings, speakers.
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Lion John Janell (left) thanking speaker Alan Pooley, Trustee of the LCCT

At the May 3 meeting of the Bristol Area Lions, members and guests learned about the history of the Lincoln County Community Theater and its recent renovations. Speaker Alan Pooley was born and educated in Madison, Wisconsin and was awarded a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Wisconsin. He conducted cancer research for six years and ran the Scanning Electron Microscope labs at Yale and Rutgers for 22 years.

Pooley developed his love for the theater in high school productions working on stage as well as behind the scenes. That interest continued during and after college. After retiring and moving to Newcastle in 1997, he became involved with the LCCT in productions, as treasurer, on the finance and facilities committees and now on its Board of Trustees.

The Bristol Lions learned that Lincoln Hall, home of LCCT, was built in 1875 and was heralded at that time as the largest hall east of Boston. Intended to be an important social center for the county, the facility was used for military drills, balls, graduations, town meetings and conventions. In the early 1900’s it was even a roller-skating rink. By the 1920’s the space was outfitted to show moving pictures.

From the beginning the large upstairs facility was separate from the first floor of the building. The Pierce family, owners of the building, operated Yellow front Grocery on the first floor for decades. Many years ago a theater group approached the operator of the second floor cinema space for permission to perform plays, and that led to the purchase of the upstairs by LCCT.

In the last seven years many renovations have taken place to the theater space. Improvements include a new annex with an elevator, office space, handicapped bathrooms and a sprinkler system, which includes the downstairs book shop.

Movie projectors have been upgraded and a new surround-sound system has been installed. A new heating system and air conditioning are now in place, along with new seats and a Main Street marquis. This year lighting is being upgraded with a new catwalk suspended from the ceiling. A final phase of renovation will include raking the seats and upgrading the stage and backstage areas.

At the business meeting that followed the LCCT presentation, thank you letters were read from the Bristol Area Library and from Cub Scouts Pack #250, in appreciation of recent donations by the Bristol Lions.

Caterer David Atwater received applause for the evening’s dinner and was congratulated on the opening of his new bakery in the Damariscotta parking lot, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., from Wednesday to Sunday.

Lion Andy Noyes reported on another successful roadside cleanup with assistance from members of the community, the Pemaquid Watershed Association and Cub Scouts Pack #250.

Lion Mike Hope reported that Bristol and South Bristol scholarship applications are due by May 10. This year five $1,500 scholarships are available, including some for vocational and nursing schools and other programs less than four years in length.

Hope also noted that progress is being made on the construction of the garden/utility shed for this year’s raffle. Lion John Hanna reported that a fundraising Golf Tournament is scheduled for Sat. Aug. 14. Proceeds from each will benefit the Bristol Area Lions Scholarship Fund and a number of local charities.

The next dinner meeting of the Bristol Area Lions will be on Mon. May 17 at 6 p.m. at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor. This will be a business meeting to nominate officers and directors and to make plans for the new fiscal year beginning July 1.

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