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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Fifteen: Making travel portraits that define personality and character. > Bill Boland, fund-raiser, The Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 2011
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Bill Boland, fund-raiser, The Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 2011
27-JUL-2011

Bill Boland, fund-raiser, The Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 2011

While visiting the Berkshire Mountain town of Pittsfield, we were able to tour the historic Colonial Theatre. Founded in 1903, itís ornate hall featured performances by such luminaries as Will Rogers, Al Jolson, Lillian Russell, the Lunts and the Barrymores, until it fell on hard times with the advent of television in the early 1950s and shut down. A construction supply company used its vast spaces while volunteer residents of Pittsfield tried to raise the funds to buy it and restore it to its former glory. It proved to be a half-century long struggle, led by this man, 86-year-old Bill Boland. Today the theatre is back in business, one of the primary venues of the Berkshire Theatre Festival. It offers performances year round. Bill Boland led our tour of the theatre, taking us to all of its nooks and crannies. While we were on stage, I photographed him as he talked to us about his efforts to restore the towering theater that stands illuminated behind him. His body language and expression speaks to the pride of an entire community. He is still raising funds to maintain it, and actively manages its vast theatrical archives.

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Phil Douglis11-Aug-2011 00:08
I checked the filming locations for this film on the International Movie Data Base, and see that it was filmed at various venues in Massachusetts, but not in Pittsfield. Most of the scenes were shot in Northampton.
Tim May10-Aug-2011 23:35
I think this is the theater that the choir in the wonderful documentary "Young at Heart" perform.
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