The chairman of the Palace Theatre Renovation Committee found himself center stage recently to accept an honor for the local theatre.
Lloyd Huffman of Corsicana was recently presented with the “Member of the Year” award from the Theatre Historical Society, a national organization that encourages and celebrates the preservation of historic movie “palaces.”
Huffman was presented with the award at the group’s conclave held in June in Schenectady, N.Y., in recognition of how the arts community has benefited locally from the work done restoring the Palace.
The group meets annually at different locations across the country to visit old theatres that have gone through restoration.
Huffman said the Palace became involved with the national organization back when restoration efforts on the Palace began, in an effort to learn more about historic theatre restoration from other groups that had gone through the process.
“We found out real quick that the best way to renovate the Palace was to go visit other theatres,” Huffman said. The different tours offered at the group’s annual conclave, he said, is why he keeps going back each year.
“We picked up some great tips on what to do, and just as important, some great tips on what not to do,” he added.
Huffman said at the group’s 2012 gathering in California, a video documenting the Palace restoration was played on tour bus rides between the theatres on the tour.
“I guess it was that video that made their decision (for the award),” Huffman said.
And the award, Huffman said, was a complete surprise.
“They asked when I came up this year to say a few words at the banquet about what’s happened with the Palace since the renovation. I said ‘Sure, we can do that,” Huffman said.
“Lo and behold, that’s what they had planned,” he said of the award. “They were sneaky about that.”
Huffman said over 100 people attended this year’s conclave, with representation from all over the world, including Australia, France, England and New Zealand,
Huffman accepted the award on behalf of fellow committee members Robert Herod and Tim Brady, along with the many volunteers who helped transform a derelict building into an elegant center for performances located in the center of the Corsicana Arts District.
The 2013-2014 Palace Theatre season includes in its lineup the “Grits and Glamour Tour” featuring Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan, Ed Asner as FDR, Logan/Walters Harp Duo, Sweet Charity, the Harlem Gospel Choir, Herman’s Hermits, and Hot Club of Cowtown.
For membership and ticket information, call the Palace at 903-874-7792.
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