The Inside Scoop at

That Shade in the Window: Out with the Old?

Posted on: September 22, 2012

Sunday, 23 September 2012 is open house for the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, here in Burlington, Vermont. Why a celebration? They’ve just undergone a $2.2 million renovation, which includes the replacement of seats. MUCH ink has been spilled lately about the “de-squeaking” of the auditorium! And more ink and type utilized to tweet and shout the fact that the “iconic” red upholstery is gone and a “lichen” green is now the new normal.

Change is never easy; you can read about the “Color Controversy” in the Burlington Free Press and 7 Days.

The Flynn Theater has been a staple of the area. Can’t say I recall its earliest days, but in the 60s and 70s when it showed theatrical releases (ie, movies), I remember it very well. The last film I saw there was, I believe, North Dallas Forty. It had been a good decade since seating was allowed up in the balcony; the theater was half filled and fairly frigid — with that cool “church” atmosphere of the never-sees-the-light-of day building.

Then the theater closed.

It could have stayed shuttered; instead the Flynn transformed into a performing arts space. The Flynn has its own roster of performances; there are also spots on its calendar for such as The Lane Series, Lyric Theatre Company, and even “First Night” (taking place on New Year’s Eve).

According to the 7 Days article, these seats had seen service for 65-years! Talk about “ready for retirement”!!

My colleague and I were talking retirement the other day, in terms of window shades — as she unpackaged another shade that had come in for repair.

Michelle was joking that the age of a shade should be calculated like the age of a dog. Although she thought seven years per calendar year didn’t quite cut it. I was silently thinking: If we sat in a window for 10 or 12 years, we’d be broken, dirty and sad-looking too.

The Flynn took the plunge: not only updating the seating (*new* seats), but also updating the aesthetic (*new* color). The Flynn took their cue from an anonymous Donor. Michelle and I still wrack our brains as to how to alert people — gently — that their shade may be past its prime. It wasn’t long ago that I took in a group of shades for repair which were so grubby that the lunch their arrival interrupted went uneaten. Since these have now been re-strung, I have to assume they are now hanging in their designated windows…. (shudder)

The Flynn took a “Stains Happen” approach to their choice of fabric and color. We all know that only so much can be done to clean an item, any item. Our conundrum is how to point out what pristine-out-of-the-box cellular shade fabric looks like versus shade fabric that’s been exposed to sun, dust, dirt, stains, use (and sometimes abuse), for 365-days for the last 5- or 7- or 12- or 19- years. Getting samples is one way – so if you’ve an old shade you contemplate fixing, maybe you should order a swatch of the fabric: it’s FREE!

* * *

See The Flynn Theater in pictures — past and present — on their Pinterest board. Drop by and see the Pinterest Boards for while you’re there! We’ve boards for Home Decor, Recipes, Travel, Books & Reading.


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