The historic Holly Theatre in Medford will be open for public tours beginning Saturday, Sept. 7. The tours, which will explain the goals and process of the theater's restoration, will give attendees a glance behind the scenes of the building and a glimpse of what is to come.
About 20 minutes in length, the tours will take guests through the now-vacant building, exploring its history and showing renderings of what it will look like once restoration is complete.
The tour will include stops in the theater's lobbies and grand auditorium, the projection booth and the stage itself.
Tours will be led by Jefferson Live! staff and trained volunteers. Though the full tour does include some 144 stairs, an abbreviated version also will be available with advance notice for those with limited mobility. Until restoration is complete, there is not an elevator in the building.
The Holly Theatre's restoration project began in 2012 with completion of the facade restoration, and re-creation and installation of the original marquee and blade sign.
Safety, cleanup work and demolition to make way for the new second floor lobby are now under way in preparation for the tours. The interior restoration is expected to begin in earnest next summer.
Opened in 1930 and closed in 1986, the Holly Theatre was purchased by the nonprofit JPR Foundation in 2010 and now is owned and managed by the foundation's wholly owned subsidiary, Jefferson Live! LLC.
In addition to the Holly Theatre, the organization also restored and operates the 1935 Cascade Theatre in Redding, Calif.