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Renovation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 15 August 2009 12:29

Life as a movie house continued for years with Vaudeville never playing on the Crighton stage. In 1967 the theatre was closed at the request of the Crighton family due to their disapproval of the quality of movies played in the theatre bearing the Crighton name. The theatre sat empty and neglected. Water filled the orchestra pit, rodent and pigeon droppings were everywhere. The once enchanting blue sky with twinkling stars had fallen and was beyond repair.

Luckily, the Crighton was seen by some civic leaders as a potential home for the Little Theatre of Conroe, who had recently formed and were then performing in the old Hunt Plumbing building. In 1976 Hallie Crighton Guthrie, the only child of Harry Crighton, generously donated the theatre to the citizens of Montgomery County for use by non-profit arts groups and to be administered by the newly formed Montgomery County Foundation for the Performing Arts. 

Spearheading the efforts to restore the Crighton was foundation member Rigby Owen Jr. Not only in charge of construction but fundraising as well, Mr. Owen managed to raise over $500,000 needed for the renovations (all from private monetary and in-kind donations and none of it city funds). After nearly two years of planning, fundraising, careful refurbishment the stage was once again set for a glorious opening.

One night wasn’t enough to celebrate the grand re-opening of the Crighton. It was a week long celebration which began Jan. 25, 1979 and capped off with the first performance of The Little Theatre of Conroe in their new home: "The Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia". It was a celebration to remember.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 December 2010 21:24