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"R" Office & Photo Page

The "R Theater" was built in 1946 by the Mitchell family.  The name came from the first initial of the children and mother of the family.  The Mitchell Family also owned the R Restaurant located in the theater as well.  A sign used on Rt 66 advertising the restaurant was salvaged and will hang inside the building.  The theater was sold in the late 70's as a new cinema opened in Springfield that housed more than one screen.

The building would seat about 550 people and also had some other bands and acts playing on the large wooden stage.  The projection room sat about 25' off the floor and there was no balcony.  The Mitchells later sold the theater to a local owner who tried to keep it open but was forced out of business due to a lack of business.

The building later house such things as a video arcade, tattoo shop, and apartments in a crude sort of way.  The last owner place a wooden decking to the sloped concrete floor and had bands play inside the building.  The last band that played their was the David Nelson Band.  David Nelson was a guitarist for Jerry Garcia.

The building was a disaster when we purchased it.  It sat empty for 3 1/2 years and needless to say there was nothing functional.  We have made quite a few improvements in the building and keep making these as days go by.  We would not be able to get as far as we have without the help of one special individual, Bob Grooms.  Bob is retired from the construction business and has been a great help to us.  When the call went out for anyone interested in helping in the building Bob answered the call and has been helping for over a year now on a regular basis.  There was enough junk and old wood laying around for about four 30 yard dumpsters.  Thanks to Bill Cowles & Bud King for allowing me to burn the old lumber.

Stop back and see the additional photos of the building as they are added and additional things from the "to do" list are completed.  We have enjoyed the work on the building and are enjoying it much more now that things are getting closer to being finished.

Building.jpg (206660 bytes)  This is a picture of the entire front of the building.  The old marquee and ticket window have been kept as is. 

Checkers.jpg (204377 bytes)  Friendly, well most of the time, competition takes place at the checker board table on nights where car cruise-ins are held in front of the building.  The terrazzo flooring is easily seen in the photo.

Photo Wall.jpg (195818 bytes)  Many of our client's photos hit this thank you board.  My wife puts some of her favorite photos out to display.  We also use the board for cruise and show flyers during the spring and summer months.

NAT Office.jpg (206428 bytes)  If you ask Norma this is where she will tell you all the work gets done, we all know the real story though.  Hey stick with me on this.

NAT Wall.jpg (36706 bytes)  Norma has quite a few things of nostalgic value in her office.  I was nice enough to give her the safety sign, I thought it was fitting and needed to help protect our clients.

    Norma spends some time in these cabinets keeping files organized for me and I need all the organizing help I can get.  You can see from the photo that oldies "stuff" is everywhere.  Our staple and stamp holder is even an old AC light bulb holder.

  Everyone needs a candy machine in their office but mine is a little old and worse yet it is almost always empty.  It sees a lot of use on those cruise nights in front of the building.  

Lobby.jpg (219458 bytes)  You are seeing the lobby area of our office.  Check out the movie border and indirect lighting.  The double doors on both sides where used to gain access to the theater auditorium.  You can also seen some of the terrazzo flooring that has made it through the 55 years of traffic and abuse.  It cleans up great and looks especially nice after a coat of clear wax.

RT 8 Track.jpg (217916 bytes)  If you like old auto related items you will find them here.  Not to mention the 8-Track Stereo on top of the shock absorber cabinet.  The cabinet actually holds most of my 8-Track tapes.  If you have any old 8-Tracks you don't want let me know I would be interested, especially older rock and roll.  I am not much on the Country & Western stuff.

RT Curve.jpg (213224 bytes)  This wall is a curved concrete wall from the lobby.  The advertising wallpaper looks great with the recessed lights controlled by a dimmer switch.  The shelves hold quite a few of my small collector items, not to mention dust.  Is dust worth anything if you save it over a few years?

RT Office.jpg (40317 bytes)  I enjoy David Snyder artwork and have a couple of Dave's prints on this wall.  These two have some of the sharpest muscle cars made.  Of course I am still upset as Dave has not done a Gremlin yet.  Okay Dave finally did the Gremlin!!

RTSide Wall.jpg (212920 bytes)The rest of the wall is filled with auto items from ceiling to the floor.  My wife thinks it is all just a bunch of junk but we all know different, right?

RT TV.jpg (40099 bytes)  Everyone needs a television to keep up on current events.  You know things like Shade Tree Mechanic, Crank & Chrome, My Classic Car, Hot Rodding, not to mention auto races and such.  It also comes in handy for things like the news and other daytime shows.

RT Corner.jpg (211040 bytes)  One of my favorite memorable items is this Weaver brake testing machine from the late 40's.  I had a lot of fun restoring this machine and inserting neon lights in place of the brake fluid tubes.  I have an old oil rack and six gas pumps I need to restore, not to mention my 1965 Chevrolet Panel Truck.

Thanks for visiting we hope you will come back soon to see additional photos of the office under construction.  We have added a 1500 square foot garage in the back.  Not only has this become a great office but also a place just like home. 

If you have items you are interested in selling either auto or theater related please email me as soon as possible at robbin@midwestclassicins.com

Some people like to put in a theater room in their home, I decided to put a home in our theater!

We started on this project, after going through the typical red tape, in June of 2003.  I had it far enough along to be able to spend nights there to work on things starting in just a month .  The lower level was ready to move into in August of 2003 which made it easier to work on the rest of the residence.  It has taken some time to finish everything but we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We have taken the old theater and turned it into our house.  Below are some photos of what it took to try and get the first floor level enough to put the I-Beam beams on.  It seemed like we would never get to the second floor but we finally made it.  We had to bring in by hand the 60+ 40' I beams, over 300 sheets of drywall, 120 sheets of sub floor and that does not even mention all the other little things along the way.  We should have some of the "almost" finished shots on the site before long.  The entire house is about 3700 square feet, with a 31 chair theater room, a retro room with over 500 45rpm records on the ceiling, four baths, four bedrooms, living room, two kitchens, craft room, utility room, and a game room.

Just when we thought we were about done we have now decided to build a deck on top of the building.  This will be about 1500 square feet and hold a gas grill, Jacuzzi, and plenty of chairs and tables to entertain.  This will hopefully happen Spring 2005.  THEN I AM DONE!!! (at least I hope)


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