Dec. 2 was a special day for Portland when the lights on the new marquee of the historic Temple Theatre were turned on.
The restoration of the old theatre became a goal of the Portland Preservation Foundation, when the building became available to purchase in 2012.
Those attending the closing activities of the city festival and parade were invited to walk down to the Temple Theatre for the lighting of the marquee.
The group assembled to the drum beats of local drummers Boo McAfee and Jeff Wald. Sumner County Commissioner and local activist Billy Geminden made a few remarks about the history of the restoration, and what the lighting of the marquee represented to those who have worked so hard to see that the Temple Theatre was preserved.
Local businessman Jim Donoho fired up the crowd with anticipation of the lighting. McAfee and Wald played a countdown drum roll with the crowd shouting, “Flip that Switch,” as soon as the countdown reached one.
Mayor Ken Wilber flipped the switch, and every one stood in awe when the marquee lit up, that moment was followed by cheers from the crowd.
The theatre is expected to open in late 2018.
Portland Preservation Foundation members attending the lighting were Drew Jennings, Jim Donoho, Kenneth A. Wilber, Robyn Collins, Denise Geminden, Billy Geminden, and Jack Freedle.