Step back in time features community news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

25 years ago

Oct. 6, 1985

WALTON _ Back stage, there are three dressing rooms, each with a star on its door. Rooms in which vaudeville actors used to change between acts. Graffiti of days gone by cover the walls.

All of this is hidden from the public _ but it may not be forever.

Although the Walton Theatre cannot bring back the days of vaudeville, plans call for restoring the theatre as close as possible to its original condition in 1914 when it opened at its present site on Gardiner Place.

Andrea Paternoster, a village trustee and chairwoman of the village board's restoration committee, said once everything is completed, the theater will host live productions.

The first step in the restoration project was securing a contractor for fixing the theatre's roof. The Sabotka Co. of Oneonta was awarded the contract in August.

Ms. Paternoster said the company is ready to start its work and that it is just waiting for the materials to arrive.

She said a study will be conducted to find out what other work needs to be done to bring the theatre's electrical and plumbing components up to code while structurally restoring it to its original state.

The O'Conner Foundation has pledged $800 for a structural study and Ms. Paternoster said she is hoping that the foundation will grant another $800. She said the restoration committee has also asked the Roxbury Arts Group for a $3,000 grant.

The Roxbury grant, she said, would be to conduct a study on seeing what needs to be done to restore the building, including the hand-stenciled interior walls.

"Once the structural study is completed and we find out what needs to be done, we will start a local fund raising drive," she said. "We are going to try to adhere as closely as possible to the original design. We plan on replacing the wooden chairs with duplicates covered with red, plush seats."

Ms. Paternoster said the wooden seats may be auctioned off to help pay for the new ones.

"We want to have live productions at the theater once again," she said, similar to what Orpheus Theatre is doing at the Oneonta Theatre. "But first, we'll have to move the wall back to at least the mayor's office. We want to eventually move it back to its original exterior wall which would allow us to increase the size of the stage and we would be able to use the dressing rooms once again. The theatre originally was on the vaudeville circuit."

Ms. Paternoster said the Roberson Center for the Arts and Sciences in Binghamton has expressed an interest in bringing some of its stage productions to the Walton Theatre once the restoration work is done.

50 years ago

Oct. 6, 1961

DELHI _ The walls of the Student Center at Delhi Tech will be lined this winter with art _ painting, prints, etchings and drawings _ a new display each month.

Miss Barbara Lee, assistant dean, is completing the schedule of eight monthly art exhibits, ranging from Rembrandt to regional art and from modern art to classical Chinese painting.

The first exhibit, running until Oct. 30, is the work of 17 artists from the Elmira Art Club, and has been arranged by a Tech alumnus and an Elmira artist.

The artist is Rox C. Fox, an Oneonta native, who is noted for his etchings and water colors.

The alumnus is James V. Cerio, a 1961 graduate of Delhi Tech, who is helping Fox select and transport the paintings.

Three of the artists to be exhibited are listed in "Who's Who in American Art." They are: Fox, Enfred Andersen, and Oke Gustaf Nordgren.

Other Elmira artists whose work will be seen are: Marjorie Brockway, Mrs. Oke Nordgren, Mrs. William McFadden, Mrs. Cyril Harris, Kay Harris, Jim Gybos, Theodore VanBrunt, Elbert Ryerson, John Fell, Paul Tucker, James Charles Riley, Mrs. Philip McClurkin, Louis Toti, and Mrs. Helen Bjvorand.

Dean Lee plans to hold open house for Elmira area residents and friends of the college on the first Sunday afternoon of each month's exhibition. Open House for the Elmira area exhibit will be Oct. 8.

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