After returning to Beacon, it made me sad to think that the bank that held the mortgage on The Beacon Theatre did not have the same prescience to hold onto the property and proceed with the original plans to renovate the theater into viable space with several smaller theaters suitable for film, music, dance, opera, live performance, and studios for nonprofit businesses and social entrepreneurs. (Think the old Beacon High School and BeaHive all rolled into one with a touch of the Bardavon and the Downing Film Center!) Why turn it over to a developer who will garner profit and develop the property as he sees fit, when the bank doesn't need a middleman to do that at all?
I think that's what I learned about the differences in corporations in a social democracy--they give back to the people and build community with their profits. That takes vision and it is always grounded in the common good. And success is bound to follow. No greed needed.
Food for thought: It still amazes me that The Beacon Theatre did not get the funding to restore the building into what it was meant to be. Maybe it was learning about the Norwegian connection that hooked me on the theater project -- Sonja Henie, the Norwegian Olympic ice skater who turned into a Hollywood movie star performed there. I actually pledged $2700 at the kick-off fundraiser in September 2010. That was what I thought everyone in the community would do. And then to see so much progress on Main Street over six years with restaurants, stores, music venues opening left and right, while the theater renovation stalled, it perturbed me to discover why the theater renovation was never brought to fruition. One wonders if it is really too late to turn it around and get it back on track to be an historic landmark and contemporary performance space...one can only hope.
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Even Beaconites might feel inspired!