The Beverly re-opens every year for an ARC benefit. It could stay open all summer, but the owner prefers to just to open for the ARC benefit to keep it a big event & big draw.
Dr. Hargroder lives in the really neat home built into the screen tower. She grew up there with her folks, & it's now her home also. I'm sure she loves the magnificent long alley of of magnolias, but I wonder if she misses the mini golf in the front yard. It's a great home.
The astounding, wonderful, unstoppable Rene Brunet somehow had a technical hand in de-mothballing the Beverly for the first ARC benefit.
The Beverly is one of those theaters that hasn't yet had a picture that does it justice. It's very handsome, graceful & endearing.
It's got a bit of neon out at the top though, hope they get it fixed by summer!
Rene Brunet manages the Joy & Prytania theatres in New Orleans as well as the former New Orleans Loew's State now State Palace rave central, see his picture at http://www.theprytania.com/main.html
That site says that Rene Brunet has been in the movie industry over 50 years. That must be from an old bio.
The Beverly has two screens, one (the "newer", pole & plywood screen) is damaged & will not likely be replaced. Chack the concession stand/booth: in front on the asphalt you can see the foundations of the original "booth".
Hattiesburg also has a Saenger Theatre, but it will never again show a movie. Somebody talked them into gutting the booth to install the house mix position there, of all things. Now they will find that no bus & truck will mix from there, & they'll be back on the floor. They "restored" (wiped the oil off) one of the projectors which is on display downstairs & identified by the lamp, something like "original Aschcraft projector". The theatre has been refurbished & remodeled (called "restored", of course), & there are a thousand weird artifacts. They got a new sign for the facade, duplicated from photos, but then hung it much lower than the photo - yes it looks strange. Why - dunno. The auditorium is boasted to be "back in its original colors, & looks just like it did opening day", which is a selective truth. The interior paint is the original tan/neutral color, but as is modern practice the 3-color general lighting was replaced with just white. So the auditorium originally looked like a million different colors, but certainly not the bland color it is now. Originally, it looked like any color of the rainbow *other" than any color shining white light on it.
The Hattiesburg Saenger was an art deco theater that had a sort of uninformed 70's deoc revisionist job done to it, & now the current job. Sort of sad, it had an outstanding original Vitaphone booth & could have been quite a draw for convention-based & University-based film series. But the booth was gutted for a purpose that it a purpose that a liitle research would have revealed to be a weird fantasy ("Mix from behind a plate of glass up there lady? Yeah right, look at our rider & set me up on the floor back of house left") Few things can be more startling, powerful, & devestating than the combination of the arrogance of willfully ignorant people in power with consultants who will recommend anything to dazzle the uninformed & take their money.
I know that I can't be the only one who has noticed that the most recent decade's architectural style is something I call Neo-Klunkoid: everything looks like trying to make neoclassical stuff out of a set of huge kid's blocks. Banks, etc. especially look this way. The Hattiesburg Saenger's latest revision has had its attached commercial/meeting spaced modified in the Neo-Klunkoid style. Yes, in ten years, the Neo-Klunkoid components in the art deco building will be as obviously poor taste work as gold shag carpeting in the Parthenon.
If you go to Hattiesburg, every now & then make a road trip to Meridian & visit the Temple theatre for a beautiful experience.