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Panelists to discuss restoration success of Princess Theatre

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In September 1926, the Princess Theatre opened its doors in downtown Harriman.

Eighty-seven years later, the former movie house has been fully restored and is the centerpiece of the Princess Performing Arts, Education and Conference Center.

The East Tennessee Preservation Alliance and Roane State Community College will host an open house, recital and panel discussion about the restoration project from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 12.

The free event will take place in the Princess Theatre Complex at 421 Roane St.

An open house from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. will include light refreshments.

At 6:30 p.m., sophomore students from Roane State will perform their spring recital.

The recital will feature Rebecca Staton, mezzo-soprano; Mason Van Horn, tenor; Geol Greenlee, piano; and Slade Trammell, piano.

The Princess Theatre is operated by Roane State, so this is a special opportunity to experience these students performing in the Princess.

Immediately following the performance, there will be a panel discussion about the theater’s restoration.

Harriman Mayor Chris Mason, architect Daniel Scott Cooter and Princess Manager Megan Anderson will share stories about the restoration process, the importance of working with a wide range of partners in the community, and the value of finding a viable use for historic buildings.

After the panel discussion, “behind-the-scenes” tours will be given of the theater.

The original Princess Theatre was damaged by fire in September 1932.

Another fire in January 1939 destroyed by building.

The building that stands today was opened on Nov. 16, 1939 and was solidly built, which has paid off as the modern renovation begins.

Call 523-8008 or email egarlington@knoxheritage.org by April 10 to RSVP for this free event.

East Tennessee Preservation Alliance is a regional historic preservation membership-based organization that serves Roane, Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Scott, Sevier, and Union counties.

For more information and to get involved, visit www.knoxheritage.org or www.etpaonline.org, or find the group on Facebook.