Progress at the Bell Theatre was discussed at the Pineville City Council meeting this week. The historic theatre has a new face from a fresh coat of paint. The Bell’s red and blue marquee is now classic black and silver.
Main Street Pineville Director Jacob Roan updated the council on the matter. He said they are moving slow and carefully, so they can make all the right decisions concerning the historical structure.
“We are trying to crawl instead of run,” said Mayor Scott Madon. “It shouldn’t be perceived — because we are cautiously moving forward that we are not working hard to get it right. The Bell can’t be a stand alone movie theater and make it.”
Along with the new paint, renovations have begun in earnest. Main Street Pineville is working with the Kentucky Heritage Council to retain the theater’s art deco style, and keep the aged building historically accurate. MSP is also working with Eastern Kentucky University’s Center for the Arts and the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Va. to book acts in the next year.
“We are going to continue the paint scheme into the theatre and expand the lobby,” said Roan. “We are hoping to have a big ribbon cutting ceremony and a grand re-opening in the spring of next year.”
In March, the Bell County Tourism Commission approved a sum of $40,000 for the purchase of a new film projector. The viability of a projector will be discussed further in future council meetings.
The Bell Theatre was opened in downtown Pineville in 1939 by local dentist Jay Cornn. It has served as a cultural centerpoint for generations, and in recent years become an iconic local landmark.
In other business, Main Street Thursdays has begun again, and MSP is seeking musicians to play the coming events. For more information, visit Main Street Pineville’s Facebook page.
Madon formed a committee to study the parking problem downtown. The committee is asked to make recommendations concerning the issue.
The council confirmed the Fourth of July holiday will be celebrated in Pineville with fireworks on the third of the month this year. The Pine Street bridge area will be closed for the festivities and traffic rerouted.
Reach William Tribell at (606) 302-9100 or on Twitter @wtribellmdn