Bag&Baggage to occupy ‘big, empty, concrete box – which is perfect’
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on July 09, 2015 at 4:31 PM, updated July 09, 2015 at 4:44 PM
Scott Palmer has been walking by the old Wells Fargo Bank building on downtown Hillsboro’s East Main Street for 20 years, he said.
Occasionally, he’d lean up against the glass, peer into the long-vacant structure and think to himself, “I want to do a show in there.”
Palmer, a Hillsboro native and the artistic director at Bag&Baggage Productions, will now get his wish, as long as the theater company stays on fundraising pace. Hillsboro officials on Tuesday approved a deal to loan the nonprofit $775,000 to purchase the building and turn it into a 150-seat black box theater.
To learn more about the deal, read our previous coverage:
Palmer described the bank building as “just a big, empty, concrete box.”
“Which is perfect,” he added.
The openness of the space will allow Bag&Baggage to easily change its configuration to best suit each performance, Palmer said. Drapes will be hung to separate a lobby – which will include concessions and be visible to passersby outside – from the performance area, where seating can be easily moved around in different arrangements.
The old bank vault will be used for storing costumes and props. The basement will serve as a dressing room and have on-site laundry. There are also plans to add more restrooms.
The nonprofit additionally needs to hang lights, build administrative office space and outfit a sound and lighting booth for stage managers.
All told, it’s going to take $1.15 million from donors to make it all happen, plus another $250,000 in operating reserves in case of emergency. Palmer told elected officials that Bag&Baggage has already raised $331,000 toward that goal. The company hopes to start performing in the building in 2017.
Check out the gallery above to see some photos from inside the building, along with renderings of what the theater might look like once it’s finished.