December, 2018

Summer, 2018

At the ribbon cutting shown above R to L: Tom Helminen- Tom Moyle Contracting, Art
Limback-chairman, Harvey Hoyum-treasurer, Laura Miller-E.D. cutting ribbon,
Michelle Saxton-secretary., Robert Johnson-REJ Contracting, Back row-Karin Cooper UPEA, and Wendy Davis -KNHP

Elevator Dedication
A dream has come true for the Calumet Theatre Company! The Calumet Theatre’s “Lift
us Up” Elevator Project is complete. Marking the largest improvement to the Theatre
building, a special dinner for large donors was held in the Red Jacket Ballroom with
everyone riding the elevator from the Village lobby to the Red Jacket Ballroom.
On September 4th a public dedication and open house was held. Community members
viewed and rode the elevator to the Ballroom for refreshments and snacks.
Representatives from the Theatre Company, Calumet Village, the Keweenaw National
Historical Park, U.P. Engineers & Architects, REJ Contracting, and Ken Summers, who
represented Scott Dianda, greeted people and spoke about the elevator.
“This is so exciting! This is going to be a big boost for the use of the entire building. We
are so thrilled that this project was able to happen – all because of the generosity of
donors! We’re so grateful. Our goal was $300,000 and we reached that in July of 2016.
We hope people enjoy the new elevator,” said Laura Miller, Executive Director for the
The Theatre Company chose a LULA (limited usage limited application) elevator to
provide accessibility from the first floor Theatre/Village lobby to the second floor
Ballroom. Access to the first balcony is available by a ramped area from the Ballroom.
A LULA has a limited capacity of 1400 pounds, travels more slowly between floors, and
has less frequent maintenance requirements making it more affordable to maintain than a
full size elevator for the Theatre Company.


New Stage Roof 

The historic Calumet Theatre has a NEW stage roof! For almost 10 years, Calumet Theatre staff and volunteers struggled to prevent water damage to the structure as leaks continued to develop. As the over 20 year old stage roof leaked, behind the scenes the proscenium arch was covered with multiple tarps that drained into large collection receptacles; the Sarah Bernhardt dressing room was removed from guided tours for the past two years due to extreme water damage; and three work rooms located above and on either side of the stage had tarps draining to buckets to catch the water. Even the cat walk above the stage held buckets to catch new leaks that popped up regularly. It was an embarrassing situation for the Theatre Company to tell performing artists to literally dodge the drips and arrange their equipment in such a way to avoid water damage from the leaking roof above their heads.
Thanks to the Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission, in collaboration with the Village of Calumet, a $12,500 grant was awarded for the stage roof. McGrath, Inc. recently completed installation of a membrane roof, recovered the entire west stage wall, and built-in and sealed the base of the ventilation fan that had been installed in 2005 by the Theatre Company. The 20-year warranted roof allows the Theatre to continue to serve the community in its role as the oldest performing arts venue in the U. P.
The Calumet Theatre Co. will use previously received roof donations and proceeds from this year’s GRAND Raffle to fulfill its required 1:1 match of $12,500 as specified in the grant. GRAND Raffle ticket sales will enable the Theatre to pay for this long awaited project.

November Newsletter Issue 2014


Calumet Theatre
begins elevator campaign efforts!

CALUMET – The members of the Calumet Theatre board of directors would like to install an elevator from the first floor to the ballroom on the second floor, and June 1, 2013 the effort to raise money for the project began.

Article Daily Mining Gazette/Kurt Hauglie

Laura Miller, Calumet Theatre executive director, said 82 people attended the theatre’s annual gala event in the ballroom, which was a good turnout. “It was up,” she said.
“The last two years we only had about 60.” Although there was no theme for this year’s gala, Miller said Jeremiah Mason, Keweenaw National Historical Park archivist, spoke.
“He did a presentation on the theatre’s early history,” she said. Miller said Mason had historical photographs and letters from Calumet residents written at the time the theatre was proposed. “There were a lot of people who didn’t want a theatre,” she said.

Miller said there was a silent auction and a live auction during the gala. For the silent auction, guests were asked to bring in items to be offered. Both auctions brought in a total of about $5,000, and the total for the gala was about $8,000. “This was the kick-start for the elevator campaign,” she said. All money raised by the gala will be used for the project to install the elevator, Miller said. The plan is to put it where a restroom is currently located on the first floor next to the village council chamber. An engineering study has to be done first. “I suppose we won’t have any information on that until the fall, ” she said. It’s hoped the elevator will have a historic look to it, Miller said, so it will reflect the early 20th century design of the building, which opened in 1900. The village hall adjoining it was added later.

People who donate $100 or more will receive a button with the Lift Us Up Elevator Project logo, Miller said. Miller said the elevator is needed because many of the theatre’s patrons have difficulty or are unable to take the stairs to the ballroom.

In 2006 and 2007, Miller said the theatre’s board conducted a fundraising campaign to replace the stage curtains, which included placing donation envelopes in theatre programs. “That worked very well for the curtain fundraising,” she said.

Miller said $27,000 was raised for the curtains, and the donation envelopes may be used for the elevator campaign, also. The theatre’s annual Grand Raffle starts July 1, and Miller said a portion of what is raised from that will go to the elevator project.


To donate for the Calumet Theatre’s elevator project, send money to P.O. Box 167 Calumet, MI 49913, or to donate by credit card, call the theatre at 337-2166.