Actor envisions Elizabethan theater for Cascade Locks


News staff writer

December 13, 2006

Port of Cascade Locks commissioners heard a proposal for building a replica of an Elizabethan theater on Thunder Island at their Dec. 7 meeting.

Scott Palmer represents the Columbia Gorge Rose Theatre project. He talked to the commissioners as his latest effort in finding a home for the project in Hood River County.

His argument for the timing of building such a theater now in the Gorge is its proximity to the Portland area but also its distance. He said Cascade Locks would be an outdoor trip away from the Portland area but close enough to be affordable.

“Oregon is well-known for having classical theater but that (Ashland) is a long ways to go,” he said.

He also cited Portland’s support for theater and arts as well as changes in travel habits during recent years. Palmer cited 2005 Oregon Tourism Commission statistics from a study on how people were traveling shorter distances because of the high cost of gas. That study found people more likely to go on weekend trips.

He said the project’s organizers were enthusiastic about the Port of Cascade Locks Marine Park because it is on or near the riverfront (which is historically where the Rose Theater was located), it’s accessible by a major road but also far enough off the main highway for sound quality, and the location of Thunder Island being the right size for a theater with a box office and administration on the mainland.

Palmer wants to do a feasibility study on locating the Elizabethan theater and accompanying Shakespearean acting company in the Gorge but needs money. So far, he hasn’t had any takers.

“We haven’t raised any but we need someone to step up and take the lead to commit … so these other pieces can fall into place,” Palmer said.

He was answering commissioner Marva Janik’s question about how much of the $45,000 goal he had reached. Palmer said they had hoped to come up with that amount by the end of the year.

Port director Chuck Daughtry heard Palmer’s presentation at a different meeting and invited him to come take a look at Cascade Locks for his idea. Daughtry brought him before the commission not to decide on money but to inform them and to hear if the commissioners were okay with the idea.

“Our role would be to leverage other funds and work as an agent to help him arrange a package of funding,” Daughtry said.

What Palmer wants to build is an octagonal-shaped theater with a partially-covered roof that would hold an audience of 750-900 for a four-month season from June through September. He said the “original practice construction” would cost about $28 million and be built over the next three to five years.

Commissioner Tim Lee had a concern about access into the park, which is constricted by a narrow underpass below the railroad. He also felt parking could be a bottleneck in the summer with other uses of the area.

“We’re going to have to justify the investment in the underpass at some point,” said Daughtry. “Timing wise it fits and we did look at other sites on port property. Those are all things that we would examine through the feasibility study.”

The commissioners concurred they wanted Palmer and Daughtry to keep working on the project.

In other business;

* Daughtry reported to the commission that due to an internal rule change at the Bureau of Indian Affairs the jurisdiction for comment on the proposed casino has been extended from 10 miles to 25 miles out from the site. He said the change is for off-reservation casinos and will add more months to the process as it brings in Multnomah County, Carson, and Hood River.

Latest stories

Latest video:

Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

Log in to comment

News from our Community Partners