Saraton theatre a special gift

MANY people who take on major building restoration projects sometimes get to a point where they say why I didn't just pull this down and start all over again.

I don't know whether Spiro and Angelo Notaras have got to that point yet with their make-over of the Saraton Theatre, but one wouldn't blame them if they had.

After touring the project yesterday I now understand the enormity of just what the Notaras brothers have taken on.

Once finished, the Saraton will stand tall in Grafton as one of our iconic landmarks.

Far from stripping the old theatre bare and leaving just an outside shell, the project has seen a careful restoration in keeping with the history of the old theatre built by the Notaras family in 1926.

After months of rebuilding and repainting, the main theatre is starting to once more reflect the grandeur of a venue that has hosted thousands of Clarence Valley residents over more than 80 years.

Although dust covers much of the theatre and scaffolding and building equipment presently replaces seating, you can appreciate just how the finished product will look.

The Notaras family is pouring a huge amount of money into the project. If it was purely a commercial venture it would be classed a disaster.

That's why it is so clear to see that this project is special and that it is being done by a family that wants to hand back to Grafton something that it is much more than just a restored picture theatre.

The Saraton, once finished, will stand tall as testament to the success and hard work of one of the pioneer families of the Clarence Valley.

To them we should all say thanks.

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