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Old Holly Theatre Tours to Begin

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MEDFORD, Ore. — A local building is no longer boarded up; it’s under construction and preparing to open to the public.

The Old Holly Theatre is planning a 3.5 million dollar restoration project, but needs more money to be able to complete it. The folks at the Holly Theatre are calling it friend-raising, not fundraising. They’re offering tours of the building.

Starting Saturday, you’ll be able to take a look inside the building that’s been abandoned for decades. The construction is on pause for now until the group gains more green.

The budget is $3.5 million to finish the new theatre, but the group only has one million. A tour guide will walk you through the place, up 144 stairs. There will be a modified version available if you’re not up for the workout.

The tours are safe, even though the building appears to be in rough shape. The city, OSHA and the fire department approved it. The tours are supposed to get the community excited about the restoration project and give the public a behind the scenes look at the theatre.

“Backstage, the view from the stage, so you can imagine you are the star, the dressing rooms, the projection room which is kind of a cool place you can release your inner geek in there,” said Randy Bobst-McKay at the Holly Theatre.

Old photos will be on display during the tour and also some pictures of what the new theatre will look like after the restoration is finished. The hope is to have enough money to get going on construction again by next fall and then open the new place in 2015.

The tours start this weekend. Every first and third Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. you can tour the theatre for free, but donations are welcomed.