The Historic Star Theatre will forever shine in Blessed Memory of Jeanne Mozier, and in honor of her best friend and husband of more than 50 years, Jack Soronen.
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-Star Theatre History-
The building itself was originally built in 1916 as an automobile garage before being transformed into a movie theatre in 1928. The Star's 1940's style parlor served as the town’s telephone exchange from 1937 to 1967.
The Star got a major renovation in 1949 by the Alpine theatre chain, when the notable marquee was installed. It originally featured a bright "A". This was replaced by its current neon star in 1977, when Jack and Jeanne resurrected the theatre from neglect and disrepair. Their presence and their light guided the Star for 42 years, until 2019. Some things haven’t changed since 1949, however, including the Manley hot oil popcorn machine, up-lit glass block auditorium entry, and red restroom signs. In the ’50s, there were three theaters in town; today, the STAR is the only one within 40 miles.
Jeanne and Jack installed modern air conditioning, new cushy movie seats, an upgraded projector (the Star went digital in 2013) and transformed the former telephone exchange into a living room-style snack parlor.
They also commissioned dancing-star stained glass windows by local artist, "Ragtime," and an art kiosk out front by local metalsmith, Glen Horr (erected by the Morgan Arts Council).
Sean & Jackie Forney took up the mantle in 2019, investing in renovations, both structural and cosmetic. The stunning, period snack bar design, shining stars in the lobby, and much more are thanks to them!
And now Paul & Trey Johanson are the fifth stewards of the Star. After a brief pandemic silence, the Star re-opened in January of 2021. Our first contribution was to reclaim what Jack called "the junk room". This renovation allowed us to create a private space for event performers (like a green room, except that it's red, white, & blue!) and re-open the original 1949 box office.
In 2022, Paul spent 4 months of his life on scaffolding, restoring the 1928 tin ceiling in the theater. The ceiling had never been protected, and suffered 90+ years of leaking from the roof. Paul painstakingly removed rust, repaired or replaced damaged tiles, hand-painted the bronze and gold features, and installed our lovely globe chandeliers.
Also in 2022, BJDesigns installed the crushed red velvet wall coverings, to replace the (also water-damaged) 1949 silks. Fabric coverings on the walls helps to create the unique acoustics inside the theater.
In 2023, the Historic Star Theatre finally caught up with the rest of the world, and was able to install a state-of-the-art surround sound system. Thank you to Cardinal Sound for their excellent design and service!
We like to say, "there's something in the water" here in Berkeley Springs. Come see for yourself.
Best Popcorn in 4 states
(but nobody's saying which states)
Made with real butter and peanut oil!