Memorial Hall: I see your true colors

Painters are busy restoring the ornate proscenium arch that frames the stage of our 950-seat auditorium in Memorial Hall to its original colors. When the building opened in 1921 (back then it was the auditorium for Orange High School), the arch was painted with different colors that highlighted the details of the rosette-and-acanthus-leaf reliefs. But over the years, the original colors were covered up with layers of a single-color paint, such as white.  The current restoration project aims to return the proscenium arch as closely as possible to its original look. “The colors are based on hues that are consistent with the period in which the building was constructed,” said Kris Eric Olsen, vice president of campus planning and operations. The acanthus leaves are being painted in beige and dark brown, the rosettes in red and the background in white, which was a typical 1920s-era decorative scheme. The restoration work should be finished this week. So come check it out. (Did you know? Memorial Hall is listed in the National Registry for Historical Buildings. It’s been a popular location for scenes in such movies as Crimson Tide, Accepted, Rocky and Bullwinkle and That Thing You Do. A few weeks ago, Memorial Hall was once again in Hollywood’s sights. It was under consideration as a possible film site for Iron Man 2, but it didn’t happen. Uhhh, we did have film crews here that week filming a Mazda commercial though! Just no Robert Downey Jr.)

Dawn Bonker

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