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Side Notes 7/27-8/3 


Tower Theatre Gets a Facelift

Thanks to a grant from The Bend Foundation and matching donations from community businesses, the Tower Theatre in downtown Bend just got a facelift. The makeover included updates and repairs to the iconic marquee, fresh paint and wood stain inside and outside, and a thorough cleaning and resealing of the venue's travertine marble.

Longtime residents will recall the poor condition of the Tower in the 1990s, when it was shuttered and deteriorating. In 1997, a group of community leaders launched The Tower Theatre Foundation to rescue, restore and reopen the historic building, which was constructed in 1940. Four years later, the city of Bend purchased the theater, sold it to the Tower Theatre Foundation for $445,000, then forgave $300,000 of the loan. The extensive renovation, which began in 2002, cost $4 million and took two years to complete. Since the Tower's grand reopening in 2004, it has become a destination venue in Bend for visitors from all over the country.

With the theatre booked 200 days a year, finding a window of time to complete the recent repairs and upgrades was a challenge, according to Ray Solley, executive director of the Tower Theatre Foundation. Crews started the project on Sunday, July 17 and finished work on Friday, July 22. New carpet will be installed in September.

Bend Brewing Company Purchases Adjacent Lot

Bend's second-oldest brewery recently purchased the riverfront lot next to its downtown brewpub, where it plans to create an outdoor beer garden and a mini-pavilion for live music. The lot, which has been vacant for more than a decade, stretches from Brooks Street to Mirror Pond along the south side of Bend Brewing Co. (BBC).

According to BBC President and Co-owner Packy Deenihan, "Our intent is to create an outdoor environment for the patrons of Bend Brewing Co. that will be uniquely Bend, and uniquely BBC, in the heart of downtown Bend."

Meanwhile, the vacant lot on the BBC's north side is now owned by Steve Cavanaugh, a developer from Steamboat Springs, Colo. who purchased the property a mere hour before the BBC purchase. Deenihan is optimistic about what will be built next door, saying, "Steve is quite the entrepreneur, and he is open to collaborating with BBC, or building something that will complement the brewery. He just moved here from Steamboat Springs and is motivated to get something going. He is a fantastic neighbor."

This news of the lot purchase comes on the heels of the recent reopening of BBC's front room—aka "Brooks Street Taproom"—which was renovated to include a new bar, four more taps, and an open air atmosphere created by a large, hydraulic door that opens up to Brooks Street.

Humane Society of Central Oregon Gets $20,000 Grant

Petco Foundation recently awarded a $20,000 grant to the Humane Society of Central Oregon (HSCO) to support Traveling Tails, an animal transport program. The funds will be used to purchase a Ford Transit 250 van that will be used to transport animals from overcrowded shelters to HSCO, and to take animals to other shelters and rescue groups.

According to HSCO Executive Director Sabrina Slusser, "This vehicle allows the Humane Society of Central Oregon to not only save the lives of hundreds of animals per year, as most animals will be coming from shelters that have high euthanasia rates, but also to get them into new homes quickly."

In the Pacific Northwest, demand for pet adoption often exceeds supply, and Central Oregon is no exception. HSCO enjoys both a high placement rate and a high success rate in reuniting people with their pets, so the new vehicle will help the Traveling Tails program transport more homeless pets here to meet local demand.

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