April 30, 2017

Talk by ‘Curtains Without Borders’ Tonight on Restoration Plans for 1929 Stage Curtain in Old Lyme Grange

Old Lyme Historical Society board members Mark Lander (left) and Tim Griswold stand in front of the iconic curtain now scheduled for restoration in this file photo taken when the OLHS completed the purchase of The Grange.

When the Old Lyme Historical Society purchased the former Old Lyme Grange Hall on Lyme St in 2014, the members were proud to become the owners of the iconic stage curtain, which The Grange had commissioned and installed shortly after the re-dedication of their hall in its new location on Lyme St. in 1929.

This hand-painted curtain consists of a landscape surrounded by advertisements for a number of businesses in Old Lyme and other local towns. Some of these businesses are still operating 88 years later!

A close-up view of the curtain.

The Grange took wonderful care of the curtain but, after all this time, it needs work to freshen it up and preserve it for another 88 years. The OLHS has contracted with an organization called Curtains Without Borders, which specializes in this type of work. Based in Burlington Vt., they have restored hundreds of these curtains across Northern New England: in Grange Halls, theatres, town halls and schools. Curtains Without Borders will be working their magic between April 21 and 23.

Chris Hadsel, the head conservator of Curtains Without Borders, will give a talk about stage curtains and the restoration project at the Old Lyme Historical Society Hall at 55 Lyme St on Saturday, April 22, at 7 p.m.  There will be no admission charge and all are welcome.  Check the OLHS website to see if there is any change in the time.

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