Half way to completion and $600,000 invested into the restoration project, the historic Kallet Theater in the village of Pulaski is beginning to come alive again.
Vince Lobdell, President and CEO of Healthway Home Products, Inc., who is heading the project, said construction is on schedule to be completed by June. Once the finishing touches are added, the theater is projected to open for business by mid-August.
With a few set backs and budget increases along the way, Lobdell said the process has been challenging; however, he maintains high expectations for the establishment. The number of calls he has been receiving to book the theater more than six months in advance has validated his positive outlook.
“We’ve had people calling but we’ve been careful because we don’t know if it will be available yet. We’ve had almost 10 calls from people who want to have their graduation parties and weddings here,” Lobdell said.
Those booking the theater once it is complete will be gathering in a $1.3 million facility that took 15 workers about a year to restore.
Since kicking off the construction the structure itself has been reinforced to ensure a sound facility. Lobdell said his team ran into a number of structural issues due to the poor condition of the masonry. They have grouted every row of cinder blocks, placed new blocks in sections that could not be rectified, put in reinforcing rods in and core filled the walls.
From there, workers were able to insulate the walls of the building and frame in each room, as well as the stage. Plumbing has been installed to accommodate two restrooms on the upper level in addition to two on the first level, and a shower beneath the stage.
Lobdell said his plan is to cater to wedding parties, so a sitting room with four powder tables and a shower will appear under the stage for the groom. The bride will claim the upstairs level with two restrooms, a conference room and a mini bar.
For gatherings such as this, the 380-chair telescopic seating will be pushed back to make room for tables and chairs set up in the main room. While being used as a theater, the seating will be pulled out to reveal red and gold collapsible chairs, which will tie into the red and gold theme of the building’s interior.
“We brought an interior decorator in to give us some input. We’re trying to keep it similar to what it was back then, but different colors because it was a horrible green. What we’re looking at is a rich maroon with a touch of lighter red and a deep gold accent to match the seating,” Lobdell said.
The colors will also tie into the exterior of the building, where the red marquee has been completed. Lobdell said they are waiting to install the displays into the marquee until the tiling of the front of the building has been completed. But the displays are done as well, and ready to install.
Nearing completion as well are the rear exterior deck and the kitchen, which was added onto the west side of the building. Two feet of snow has accumulated on the wood-laid deck, waiting for finishing in the spring. The kitchen addition is ready for paint, and its appliances have been purchased.
Once complete, he plans to get community members on board with a schedule of events that will be held at the theater on the same days each month.