Dear Patrons and Supporters of The Historic Masonic Theatre,
Wow! 2022 certainly went by quickly at the Masonic.
Over the past year, we presented sixty-three free movies, twenty-seven ticketed events, and had eighty-two rentals of our meeting spaces.
But what we are most proud of is the twenty-five free community events. These events included hosting an Emmy Viewing Party where Michael Keaton won best actor for Dopesick, the Clifton Forge Election Forum, Stars & Stripes Veterans Day event, Flag Day Event, we hosted the candidates running for the 6th congressional district, Senator Warner paid us a visit, we invited everyone for hot chocolate and a Muppets Christmas film after Main Street’s Christmas parade, and we traveled to Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Guatemala without ever leaving our comfy Theatre seats. Whew. What a year!
This year the Theatre collaborated with the Virginia Storytelling Alliance to create the annual Alleghany Highlands Storyfest. Planners and participants felt Storyfest was a success, and we are already preparing for the 2023 Storyfest. The Festival was supported in part through a grant from The Alleghany Foundation.
The Theatre also collaborated on events and fundraising efforts with The Alleghany Highlands Arts Council, Clifton Forge School of the Arts, Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center, Clifton Forge Main Street, Virginia Opry, and Cora Dance Alleghany.
The Historic Masonic Theatre could not have experienced all this activity if it weren’t for you. Your amazing support for the Theatre through ticket purchases, donations and volunteering keep our Theatre thriving. Thank you. We hope you will continue to support the Theatre in 2023.
We could not have done so much in 2022 without our Rock Star volunteers. The annual Souper Sunday alone was only possible with hundreds of volunteer hours; not to mention all the additional event hours of ushering guests to their seats and running our concessions. We are so thankful. Having said that, our volunteer core needs to grow. If you are interested in volunteering at the Theatre, please give Lauren or me a call at the Theatre. We will get you signed up.
2022 had fantastic Sponsors; Highlands Community Bank, WestRock, Charlie Obaugh Auto Group, First Citizens Bank, Town of Clifton Forge, Jack Masons Tavern, the Hillert Family, John Grimes, and Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. If you know any of our sponsors, please thank them for all they do to keep the arts alive in the Alleghany Highlands. If you would like to sponsor a performance or movie at the Masonic please give me a call at the Theatre at 540 862-5655 or email me at email@example.com
We were fortunate this year to be awarded grants from The Alleghany Foundation, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, Alleghany County, Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Town of Clifton Forge, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. The Masonic Theatre depends on grant funding and we feel very fortunate to have been awarded so many.
A special thank you to the Town of Clifton Forge for their support of the Theatre, and especially to the Public Works Department for all they do for our community.
2022 also saw the best in our community by supporting the concept, completion and installation of the LOVE sculpture. It is a wonderful addition to the Masonic Amphitheatre grounds and for the Town. We hope to see many tourists stopping by to take pictures.
While 2022 was a great year for events, the operation of our 117-year-old building has had its challenges. We had to replace four costly HVAC pumps, a plaster wall crumbled from moisture, and we had broken doors, floor separations, and new cracks in walls every day.
Lack of funding has not allowed the Theatre to be fully staffed. We currently have two full-time and two part-time staff. When you read the number of events in 2022 think about how much work goes into planning and implementing with so few staff.
The insurance for the Theatre is just under $45,000.00 per year. Utilities are nearly $7,000.00 per month. And just like everything else costing more, so too are the artist fees making it difficult to get well-known artists and still keep our ticket prices reasonable.
These challenges and necessary items to stay in business all have costs to them. Your continued support is paramount to keeping this beautiful Theatre alive. Please consider an annual gift to The Historic Masonic Theatre, purchase a ticket to a show, leave a donation of any amount when attending a free event.
We also want you to be the first to know some of the wonderful programs we have planned for the start of 2023. Like, Forever Simon and Garfunkel, Rumours -A Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band, our Travelogue Series to Zambia, the premier of Grove, a new piece from Cora Dance Alleghany, Shenandoah Ballet’s Snow White, plus much more to be announced soon.
In addition, the Masonic Theatre and the Virginia Opry are co-presenting the return of Cash Unchained, and The Alleghany Arts Council will be presenting Victor Haskins, the National Dance Company of Ireland Rhythm of the Dance, and the Richmond Ballet at the Masonic.
We are also very excited to tell you that we have secured licensing to show newer movies like this year’s “Elvis”, “Top Gun Maverick” and “One Night in Miami”. We will also be showing “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone” just in time for Easter. We have been fortunate to present many movies over the past year free of charge, and we want to be able to continue to do that. Donations of any size help offset the licensing expense to the Theatre.
Yes, we have a great lineup to kick off 2023. If there are other titles or artists you would like to see at the Masonic, please give me a call anytime.
On behalf of our Board of Directors, the Staff, and our Rock Star Volunteers, we send all of you and your families best wishes for a safe and joyful Holiday Season.