Jaffrey's Park Theatre was a vaudeville and movie house for 50 years. When sold, it became a warehouse for bicycles and baby carriages. Four years ago 838 donors from 11 towns and 13 states across the country purchased the building and charged 8 area residents with restoring and reopening this art deco treasure in the heart of downtown. Those 8 residents formed a nonprofit corporation, created a 15 member governing board, conducted engineering and design assessments of the building, undertook a fundraising feasibility study in 8 neighboring towns and northern Massachusetts, and have begun a capital campaign for $2.6m to reopen this cultural icon.
Reopened, The Park Theatre will present movies and live performances, such as plays and concerts by local artists, schools and touring companies in a 400-seat, state-of-the-art, perfectly acoustic facility. The Theatre will serve the entire Monadnock Region of 100,000 year-round residents, 50,000 visitors, and five cooperative school districts. It will provide performance sites and enrichment programs for the region's public schools, Franklin Pierce University, and other private schools at all levels, along with space for community meetings, business events, SAU Deliberative Sessions, Town Meetings, private gatherings and social activities. The Theatre will also offer administrative services to performing artist groups in the region and, with full catering capability, make its facilities available to private and public rentals, and community-wide events.