Back in the 1950s, as a small boy, we would go to the Garman Theatre (then the State Theater) on Saturdays for an afternoon of movies.
Such fond memories. Ah, the past, if only we could bring it back and relive it.
But we can’t.
Last week, I took the Garman tour offered by developer Ara Kervandjian. What a dose of reality!
You could smell the mold 50 feet from the building. Although we are told the building is structurally sound, the interior, I’m told, has no hope of restoration other than gutting the interior and rebuilding from the inside out — at a dramatically higher cost than new construction.
This, of course, could be argued, but from my untrained eye, it’s reality.
As nice as it would be to think otherwise, the final outcome of the Garman must be based on financial reality. The plans of both parties are dependent upon successful acquisition of capital, which is not yet certain on either side.
The Kervandjian plan could perhaps move forward without the Garman, but is probably more financially sound with it.
But a failure on the part of the Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association plan could leave the Garman property in urban blight for years, if not decades.
I have no doubt that BHCA members’ hearts are in the right place, but they should ask themselves if their plan is truly in the best interest of Bellefonte.
I urge BHCA to reconsider its position and help make Bellefonte a better place to live and work.