It has been a long time since Butch started this campaign, and we will always miss him, but you can always count on Butch to leave us on a high note!
I was rushing through the new Nick to get last minute things done for Thursdays big Mingle and Jingle celebration and I happened to have my camera with me. So for fun I snapped these photos of what I saw along the way. Props to all the guys who have been giving their blood sweat and tears to construct the awesome buidling.
It’s all so exciting to go through the building nowadays. I think that they are about to put the new front doors on really soon. Until next time.
Listen Up! Things are getting so crazy in my life right now that I had to take a few weeks off because I’ve been busy hanging out with LaDonya (with a big “D”), working on renovations for her Love Lounge, but you know I always like to stop in and spend some time with the wonderful people who are working to make the new Nick spiffier than ever! Everyday when I walk in there past the smell of welding flame and newly poured concrete I see an amazing place rising from the ground. And here are some photos to prove it. A big kiss to photographer Molly Harrell.
I tremble each day when I get ready to walk in and discover what has been added and detailed. The new stairs are being constructed now so I don’t have to risk my life climbing up the ladder to get upstairs.
Coming next week are more photos and more workers!
Ok, so I was getting an early start on my holiday shopping last weekend at Big K when, for the umpteenth time, a person came up to me and suggested that I produce my own Butch calendar for the holidays. Since I am obviously not a narcissistic person, it normally would be something I would not consider BUT… since this is the season of giving and since the renovation project needs more money so we can continue forward, I decided I would do it.
So for the next few weeks, I’ll be meeting with the one and only photographer Molly Harrell (www.mollyharrell.com) to get the best Butch photographs for the calendar live from the new Nick. We’ll also be showing you the amazing progress in the building.
However, since Molly is currently out of town taking pictures for a few days at the Georgia Rattlesnake Roundup, I”ll be working with my third cousin once removed, Sanford, until she returns.
Sanford works by day as a display person at Dollar Tree but says he can help me with finding the best locations, the best extras to use in the calendar and a new look for Butch.
Not to blow anyone’s mind, but, yes, I have decided to try and look more butch and more classy in the upcoming months so I can make a much stronger impression that we still need raise more money. I hope it will work.
- I have decided to upgrade my hard hat from cheap plastic to less cheap plastic
- Switch from drinking champagne to red wine (better for heart and classier) but in a classy beer glass
- Change from the former colorful yellow work gloves to something classier (I have not decided whether I will wear black or white yet so I am testing out both)
4. Try to refrain from wearing pink attire and stick with more manly colors
So enjoy the new look and the awesome work going on in the building. Until next time.
What a great week for Butch at the construction site! It’s getting hotter inside as it gets colder outstide. Wahoo!!
As I entered the theatre, I was pouring my champagne and was thinking about why there are not more women construction workers when I almost got blinded by the sparks that were flying from this amazingly butch machine. And the noise from the machine was so loud I immediately had to take a huge gulp of the tasty prosecco.
After that, the party really began! First, I just want to say that the construction crew was in a very festive mood and everyone wanted to talk to me and have their photo made with me. I felt like a rock star and also suprised many of the workers with my instense knowledge of construction, especially about screws.
This worker told me that I should go down to the basement and see how well the guys were screwing the sheetrock into the ceiling joists down there. Even though the steps going down to the basement were a little scary I am always up for an adventure and it was well worth it.
The basement was looking awesome. It’s where the electrical system and plumbing will all end up. I also have suggested that we should create a private club down there including a small bar with a grand piano and make it a cabaret piano bar especially focusing on performing Broadway tunes OR make it a very small niche dance club with disco ball, dance floor and a lot of music by Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand. I am still waiting on the final decision about this. Oh, and the guy was right. The sheetrock looked really sharp. I asked them to celebrate the great job with me and a toast but they declined. I just think they were intimated by the word “prosecco.” Anyway as I turned around, look what I discovered on a pole down there.
It was a bunch of grafitti with the year ”1946″ painted on it. Wow, that was ten years after the State Theater opened in this very bulding! I just happened to have my droid with me down there and pulled it out and quickly discovered that “It’s a Wonderful LIfe” won the Best Picture oscar of 1946. As I thought of this, tears ran down my face as I love this movie so much. I could almost imagine the screen upstairs in the State filled with the historical images of Jimmy Stewart. The workers didn’t know why I was crying so I left abruptly. Since my karma is generally good, luck would have it that I ran into Caroline Quillen and Bruce Lawrence who had, without invitation, helped themselves to my champagne stash which slightly irritated me at first (but I got over it when they said they had brought their own bottle) and they were there to check things out as they were going to be helping me raise the rest of the money so that we could get into the theater soon. Hallelujah!
As I left the shaft, I walked into what will be the smaller, boutique theater and surveyed all the marvelous work that has taken place there. You can see the elevator shaft going up to the upper theater and the framing for the projection room to the right and even the HVAC ducts in the ceiling. I happen to know that HVAC stand for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Maybe I should have a second career as a contractor.
On further inspection of the lower theater, I had several suggestions re: colors of the employees outfits in the new theater and new beer selections at the expanded bar so I found head honcho butch contracterperson Paul Diemer and some of the crew to discuss this. While I had their undivided attention, I also had some suggestions about the hue of the color of the stained concrete and urinals.
After hearing all of my suggestions, Paul and his team of workers told me that I was totally awesome and if I wanted to work for them it was an open invitation. I suggested that we all walk over to Hampton Street Vineyard and discuss over wine and foie gras but they said they had to get back to work. So I went alone and, after drinking a nice rose and another not as good chardonnay and shiraz, I went back and told Paul thanks for the offer to work for him but I thought I really needed a job where there was less testosterone and more flexibility in hatwear. He gave me a hug even though I could tell he was not happy with my decision.
After all the emotion of the morning, I decided to depart and walk over the current Nick to screen “Human Centipede 2″ and think about how amazing it was going to be in the new building and set up a meeting with Caroline and Bruce to strategize how to raise the remainder of the cash to complete the renovation. Until next week where there is a promise to have almost all of the sheetrock up. Yours, Butch.
So I went to the new Nick today and it was all about metal, scaffolding and concrete!
Boy was I excited! There were about 12 or so men working on HVAC ducts that will provide the heat and air to the building and there was one really huge machine (they called it a “lift”) that this guy was on installing stuff.
I got dizzy just looking up at him. He smiled at me but made it clear that he was busy and to move on. So I did. As I turned to leave, I almost ran smack into the concrete wall that is the elevator shaft.
The elevator shaft has now been built up to the balcony floor and as I looked up there, there was Paul Diemer standing the balcony where the elevator exits into the balcony. He is THE MAN!
And then there were all these men putting up scaffolding everywhere so that they could do whatever it is that they do with it.
I was slightly intimidated so I started to leave but ran into the guys pouring more concrete.
You can now see the real steps that will lead into the lobby/concessions area.
I chatted with them about Clemson and Georgia football and PBR. As I started to leave I decided that I wanted to take an artistic photo using metal.
I think I will enter it in the photography competition at this years’ state fair. After that I left and exited onto Main Street where I ran into city police Chief Randy Scott who asked about the project. As I was getting into my truck to book back over the current Nick, I noticed the alleyway that is being redone to lead people from the new parking garage onto the 1600 block.
Progress, progress, progress! This is all becoming very overwhelming for me as the memories of what the space used to be are slowing being transformed to a place where a whole new generation of people can enjoy and moved by cinema!!! Until next week, cheers. BUTCH
This past week has been very emotional for me, Butch; because things I have been waiting on to happen for months are finally happening. Tears fell from my eyes into my champagne glass last week as I saw the skeleton of the elevator shaft finally fill up THE HOLE (see past rants about THE HOLE.)
And then these extremely talented artists started really working with the fluted columns that have been there since the 30’s. I had a long talk with one of them, very Butch by the way, and he said he had learned the plaster trade from his father.
As we talked more I could tell he loved his work and he told me the columns in the theater were in good shape but just need a little love and attention (tears again from Butch tear ducts flowed at that point.) The worker didn’t think I was weird when I cried. He is obviously a butch kindred spirit.
Other things that moved my soul were the floor for the downstairs projection booth being laid,
the new roof being installed (or whatever they do to put a new roof on)
and additional concrete being poured (concrete men are super strong and don’t talk a lot as Butch found out.)
Also, there are holes being drilled into the wall to start installing the heating and air ducts. I can’t wait to see this process!!!!
And then just in general the camaraderie of all the workers on the project and their positism toward me, Butch, and all my sophomoric questions about things that they are working on.
Here’s to all the work that has transpired this week. More tears.
Well, Butch was very happy this week when he went in to the theater because there was a flurry of activity in the building and the people making the flurry were really fun. The best news was that there was a lot of work around THE HOLE (see pasts posts.)
I have been very worried about when this hole was going to be tended to because it is a big blemish in a seemingly unblemished work environment. And now there is butch machinery and butch workers tending to it.
This is where the elevator will be located in the new theater. Butch was thinking that he would need it by the time it was finished but now things seem to be progressing more rapidly.
There was also a huge amount of noise (I forgot my earplugs so I had to bear it) f rom this machine that was being run by two very nice people.
They were cutting up tin, metal, aluminum or something like that to make ducts for the bathroom heating and air and the two butch workers told me all about how it worked.
Apparently everything is self contained and doesn’t have to be tied into mega “other” machines and ducts to work. They also assured me that it had a fantastic fan system that would blow bad air out of the bathrooms. Boy, I was very relieved.
When they went to lunch, I decided to explore their tools and clowned around with them (the tools that is!)
After lunch, I had a great visit with Trudy Siebles who knows everything about architecture and buildings and was most helpful helping me understand the significance of the facade. When she was there, Paul Diemer, super butch project manager, came by to check on things and Trudy gave him some pointers.
I think he was appreciative. About that time, Nickelodeon Development Director Heather Spires dropped by to say hello the Trudy too. They got into a a conversation about shoes or manners or Masterpiece Theatre or something so I walked away to let them have their girl moments and I ended up in the back of the bulding.
In anticipation of the addition of the Helen Hill Media Education center in the rear of the facility I found a little film camera thingie and went and posed in the room. There is not much going on in there yet but they do have electrical outlets installed.
This room is goin to be a “lounge” type room with couches and laid back stuff where educational program for youth will inspire life long learning and hopefully assist in future careers in media.
As I started to leave two of my favorite yellow shirts were checking out the landscaping right in front of the building. I stopped to say hey and talk about the tree that is in front of the building and lo and behold, Fred, from Mast General Store, dropped by to talk about it too. The three beggged to have a photo made with Butch so I was all too happy to accomodate since the yellows shirts keep us safe and clean and Mast General Store are our new neighbors and keep me supplied with tons of candy.
I am getting more excited about the progress in the place and hopefully, next week, the hole will be filled. I can hardly contain myself.
I was devastated today to come in the construction site and find my dear friend Cher lying on a 2×4 in the theater lifeless, dead but beautiful.
She was the last thng I saw as I shot my last blog, poised so beautifully atop the new Nick façade, singing me words of encouragement. I will miss you Cher! Being sad, I wasn’t sure how the day would go but it suddenly got better when I discovered that some of the butch construction workers had pooled their beer money together and bought me a pink extension cord. These guys are the best!
Then if things couldn’t get any better, my little friend Syna came over with super Butch photographer Molly (see last blog). Syna had on the most kick pink boots you can imagine and she was all about posing with Butch so we clowned around at little in front of the old box office which will be redone soon and used as the real box office when we reopen.
She also assisted me in this photo which shows the empty space where the stairs will eventually lead to the mezzanine and up to the larger theater.
Syna will most likely be a prime candidate for some of our media education programming in the new space because she is creative, inquisitive and just loves learning about new things.
As she was leaving I heard a bunch of noise out back of the building and went out to find the grand opening of the Lofts at Lourie’s taking place! What great luck as I also saw my friend Bill Murphy bring in some super snazzy food for the occasion!
A shout out to Bill and Hampton Street Vineyard, located at Hampton and Main right near our new building. ( I hope Bill see this and offers Butch some free champagne next time I visit him.) Oh, I got off track, sorry. The Lofts at Lourie’s are 27 apartments above the Mast General Store, located right next to us. There were a lot of important people at the grand opening who stared at me but they let me attend the ceremony anyway.
The Lofts are already completely rented and all these new neighbors told me how excited they were for us to open. I told them we still needed to raise more money and handed them pledge cards. One or two seemed rich so maybe I can take them out for champagne soon and make the ask! The only annoying thing about the ceremony was this guy who kept shouting out for me to take his photo. Just to shut him up I finally did.
While I was looking around during the speeches, I noticed some of our fabulous butch yellow shirt safety team who are awesome at keeping our Main Street clean and safe.
I offered them some champagne but they said they would get fired if they drank during work. How boring is that? As I was departing for the day, there was this really loud noise in the building and some dusty material fell from the ceiling. So, once the jolt was over, I explored the building and found this big brick mound in the basement that some of the construction workers had cut out of the wall.
I am not sure what goes in the wall and why they cut it out but I was impressed. Maybe I’ll ask next week. When I was leaving, one of my favorite construction friends saw that I was sad about Cher and told me that I should just let it go and that I should believe in life after love.
I was suddenly inspired and believed not only that but also that we would be in the new building soon even though we still need to raise more money. Believe, Believe, Believe!!!