NMEDD Secretary Barela visits Silco Theater
Photos and article by Mary Alice Murphy
New Mexico Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Jon Barela, while he was in Grant County celebrating the relocation of a candy company—St. Claire's Organics—from Boulder, Colo., to Santa Clara, also made a trip to the Silco Theater in downtown Silver City.
The NMEDD made the renovation and restoration of the Silco Theater possible with funding from the department.
Barela had seen the before, the in between, but had not had a chance to visit since the completion of the project.
"Movie theaters are the heart and soul of downtowns," Barela said. "They are architectural gems—the best examples of local flair,"
David Vesica, architect on the project, said the renovation was "all about creating the historic reference. We did it backward by putting up the marquee first, but it set the Art Deco tone we brought inside."
"This is fabulous," Barela said. When they went behind the screen to the backstage that, in a future phase, will become a venue for live theater, he said: "This is unbelievable. So cool." He lauded the team effort that made the project happen.
Steve Townley, a Silver City MainStreet Project Board member, said the impact of the theater has been seen from the first showing at the theater. "There are cars parked downtown at night."
The Silver City MainStreet Project has been at the forefront of getting the project done, along with many partners, including the NMEDD, the town of Silver City, PNM, Freeport McMoran, Lion's Club and other donors, listed on a posted in the hallway of the theater.
Silver City MainStreet Project presents a limited edition poster to NMEDD Secretary Jon Barela.From left are Silver City Mayor Ken Ladner, Barela, MainStreet Project Director Lucy Whitmarsh, and Mainstreet Board President Patrick Hoskins.
Barela becomes engrossed in the trailer shown on his behalf, while doing what any moviegoer does—eats popcorn.