Miller Project News And Updates

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Dine Downtown for the Miller Theater

For the second year in a row, local restaurants are showing their support and partnering with the Miller Theater on this exciting event.

Dine at select downtown restaurants on Tuesday, March 21st, and a donation will be made in support of the Miller Theater restoration.

Show your support of Augusta’s theater district and downtown community!

 

Participating Restaurants:

      

 

Miller Theater Ornament

       

 

 

 

 

 

The Miller Theater was chosen by Easter Seals East Georgia as their Ornament of Hope for 2016 and was presented with a signed proclamation by the Mayor of Augusta recognizing this honor.

This special edition 24 carat gold on brass ornament depicts the Miller Theater and includes a certificate of authenticity.

A Miller Theater ornament makes a perfect gift this holiday season. They are available for a limited time only – be sure to get yours today! Please call the SOA office at 706.826.4705 to purchase your ornament or visit our merchandise page for more information.

Historic Marquee Removed for Restoration

You may have noted some excitement on the 700 block of Broad Street this week. As part of the rehabilitation of the Miller Theater, its historic marquee is being removed for restoration. Under the direction of the Miller’s general contractor, The Christman Company, the Wagner Electric Sign Company of Elyria, Ohio, is responsible for the marquee’s facelift. Wagner, which has restored historic theater signage throughout the United States, will take the marquee to its home office in Ohio and return it to Augusta in a few months. Thanks in part to a generous grant from the Watson Brown Foundation, the Miller marquee will be repaired and relit for the theater’s reopening next year.

Construction is Underway

Incredible transformations are happening in The Miller! This summer has been full of excitement as we completed the abatement phase of the restoration and have now entered into major construction. We are thrilled to say that we signed the official construction contract with The Christman Company in late July and received our building permit on August 19th. Tremendous progress is being made inside and out – scroll through the pictures above to see what’s been happening!

Register to Win!

In honor of our Public Launch event, aka “Miller’s Time to Shine”, we are offering some super-cool prizes that you can win, just for sharing your contact information with us. We would like to stay in touch with you as the project develops, and keep you informed of our progress and opportunities.

Prizes Include:

  • Miller Tote bag filled with Miller souvenirs
  • Framed, signed artwork of the Miller, created by artist Margaret Ann Smith
  • Naming rights to a chair which will be in the theater when we open! ($2,500 value)

You do not need to be present to win, and you do not even need to attend our Time to Shine event. Simply send an email to Erica@soaugusta.org with subject line: RTW Miller and in the body of the email, please include your name. You can also mention if you have any specific requests, such as your interest in volunteering in the future.

We will conduct the drawing on the day following the event, and announce all winners on the website and our social media pages.

No purchase necessary.

Good luck and thanks for your support of the Miller!

 

Lost In Sound Event Photos

Lost In Sound Miller Theater Event

Acoustic Check event at Miller, Photos by Blake Pierson

Welcome to the Project!

miller

Welcome to The Miller Theater Restoration Project. The stage is taking shape.

Volunteers for the Miller and the staff of Symphony Orchestra Augusta have been working since 2008 to make sure that the process of reviving this historic building was filled with thoughtfulness and respect. After several years of due diligence and study, they embarked on a campaign of planning, fundraising and networking. Along the way, they encountered many obstacles, learned many lessons and made many new friends. What has been affectionately called “The Miller Project” has now reached a turning point-introducing the vision to the community, and asking for support.

On October 23rd, the Miller Team will host an event designed to inform, celebrate and engage the public, welcoming everyone to be a part of this moment in downtown Augusta history. From the very beginning, we always knew that this was an endeavor that was vital to the resurgence of downtown, by helping to form a theater district on Broad Street. We will celebrate the existing theaters downtown, including the Imperial Theater, and work to join them in bringing a diverse offering of culture and social life to a downtown that is bursting with potential.

Therefore, it is with great enthusiasm that we welcome the community to share in this moment with us.
The Boards of Directors for Miller, LLC + Symphony Orchestra Augusta proudly invite you to learn, celebrate and engage as we launch the much-anticipated public phase of our capital campaign to bring the historic Miller Theater back to life!

Miller time to shine logo

Street Party to Kick off the Miller Campaign October 23rd from 5-8 in front of the theater

Miller Launch event block party Friday, October 23rd

5-8 PM

We would like to share our progress and encourage everyone to become a part of this pivotal moment in the development of downtown’s emerging “theater district.”
featuring

“Take A Seat” Opportunities

Live Music-posting schedule soon!

Renderings of the Miller’s Future

Food + Drinks available from FatMan’s

Children’s Activities

Meet Miller the Mouse

Miller souvenirs available

Imperial Theater information

Miller Campaign information

Let us know you are planning on attending on our Facebook event:
Miller Street Party Facebook event

Miller Contact Info Page

 

Frederica von Stade

Frederica von Stade’s impressive career began with the Metropolitan Opera in 1970 and includes such honors as a performance at the inauguration of Jimmy Carter and at the 50th Presidential Inaugural Gala, before the second inauguration of Ronald Reagan. In addition to opera, von Stade has also performed in many musicals. She has made over sixty recordings, including operas, symphonic works, and popular music.

FredericaVonStade_w300

Frederica von Stade

Frederica von Stade was kind enough to extend her best wishes to the Miller project: “I am delighted to encourage the community of Augusta to support this wonderful orchestra and rejoice in the fact that you have this treasure in your midst. It’s a wonderful accomplishment for a community to create and maintain an orchestra and it adds more to a community than can be measured in any but the highest terms. Imagine the thought of never hearing anything as beautiful as a symphony by Mozart. I hope that you will support this orchestra and additionally find ways to take it to every corner of your community. “

Elizabeth Campbell

Elizabeth Campbell

Elizabeth Campbell

I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed being a part of the Miller scene during Arts in the Heart 2014! I am so, so thankful to Brenda Durant for extending the border, because it made a HUGE difference compared to last year’s attendance. I was there last year, I believe, also on a Sunday.
As people walked in, I did not engage them beyond the basic greeting, but instead chose to talk to them as they were leaving, asking them questions such as “what did you think?” and to ask if they had any questions. Sure, I had a few people that only said enough to keep going, but by in large most were eager to tell me what they thought. Certainly, I heard stories about “first dates” and others that recalled their childhood memories. The Miller was definitely core to the downtown, so there was much excitement to know that the theater will be restored to something better than they remember. I spoke with a range of people, but I made a point to speak with the younger crew. I wanted to hear what they thought. To my surprise, the level of enthusiasm that they had ran the gamut. And here you have those who have no memory of the theater and some that did not know the icon existed let alone its rich history. There was surprise at the enormity of the space, genuine interest in the restoration efforts, questions about the timing and when/if it would happen (actually, that was a recurring question), and the usual questions about what events could be held there.
No one turned down the business cards that I distributed, but matter of fact welcomed the information. I did not sense any pessimism, but witnessed excitement at all levels. Even emotional excitement. One girl, who looked to be in her early 20’s, broke out in tears because she was so overwhelmed. I cannot say why she had become so emotional, but nevertheless she was moved either by the endeavor or what could have been a certain fate for the theater. I also had several people ask how or when they could make a financial contribution. There was another person who was visiting from Savannah who saw there was festival going on so decided to drop by, and was most impressed with the Miller and wanted to stay “in the know.” And then there were others that wanted to help in other ways including giving ideas or writing a blog of their own.
Like so many of those that I spoke with at Arts in the Heart, I believe that an investment in the Miller will bring to downtown Augusta many of the benefits we predicted and others that come as a welcome surprise. People recognize the value of a vibrant downtown and want to see these buildings occupied. With the rebirth of the Miller Theater and the wonders it will bring, more goodness will surely follow ~

Levi Hill IV

Levi Hill IV

Levi Hill IV

Since 1940 the Miller has played an important role in Augusta’s entertainment history. But you have to go back a long way to discover when Augusta’s theater life first began.

It was in 1798 that Augusta’s first theater was built on the banks of the Savannah River at 4th Street. After it burned in 1833 another theater was built and then another, and then yet another… And the story goes on until February 1940 when downtown Augusta saw her last grand theater open, the Miller. By this time the city had been home to over fifteen theaters! I guess you could say that we Augustans have “grown up” with theater and the arts.

The Miller is one of the country’s finest examples of post-Depression architecture known as Art Moderne or Streamline. Since her closing in 1983, this handsome structure has stood tall on Broad waiting for a time when life would return. We’re marching closer to that time.

The architects for the Miller renovation are entering an important phase of their work called Design Development and after that, the Construction Document phase. These segments will take a number of months to complete, and as we continue our progress I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the many volunteers and committees who’ve been overseeing the path forward and also to our donors and supporters for enabling this grand endeavor.

Even in its current state, the Miller is a cool place to see. And as the SOA enters its 60th season, there will be a number of opportunities to visit the Symphony’s future home and better understand how the adjacent building (710 Broad) will be joined with her to create a true center for music, arts and music education.

Hope to see you there.

~Levi

Contact Miller Theater Restoration Project