Our beautiful little theatre (seating only 85!) is located in the historically important Lincoln Mill Village Commissary Building, and was built in 1927 to accommodate the needs of the Lincoln Mill workers. In its heyday, the Commissary Building housed a cafe, beauty parlor, barber shop and dry goods store. Mill Stories, written by Robert Riddle Baker, tells the stories of this period. The upstairs (where we are now located) served as a gymnasium for the Lincoln School next door and was also a movie theatre and social center for the Lincoln Village community.During World War II, the mill employed over 1,700 people, providing most of them with company housing. Beset by constant strikes from the mid-1930's on, the Lincoln Mill closed in 1955. A large portion of the mill burned in 1979. Most of the company housing is now demolished and cleared, leaving only streets that seem to go nowhere.To the south of Lincoln Elementary School is a small area of company housing now both privately owned with many restored and managed by the Lincoln Village Preservation Corp (LVPC). On rare occasions, houses are available for those wishing to invest in the survival of this historically important area. The old Lincoln School, closed by the city in 2010, now has been purchased by the LVPC who plan to reopen it as a private school.
Bob Baker successfully obtained financing through SouthTrust Bank (now Wells Fargo)and purchased the historic Lincoln Center on October 26, 2000. Renaissance Theatre now has a permanent home! The ground level of the building now contains the Alpha Estate Sales & Auctions and the Alpha Theatre Stage. The upper level contains the Renaissance Theatre.
The space is quiet, dark and empty again. Except for the chairs lined up in rows waiting for sounds of laughter or tears, joy or grief, tension or nostalgia. The curtain is closed, waiting for the first creak of foot upon the floor boards. But for now, all is quiet. Except for the whispers in the dark....who's there? Tennessee? Molly? Jeffrey? Diana? Who's there?