2018 Outstanding Individual Contribution Award Winner
Congratulations to Ben Hardeman recipient of the League of Historic American Theatres' 2018 Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution.
Ben Hardeman began his journey in the historic theatre arena when the dilapidated 1939 Queen Theatre came up for sale in 2010. Once a focal point of downtown Bryan, the Queen had been shuttered since the late 1970's and was near ruin. Hardeman led a community wide effort to save the theatre that lasted the next eight years. The Queen had its grand reopening in May.
Writing checks and convincing other residents to do the same, Hardeman also grabbed a shovel or a hammer if needed as the theatre slowly came back to life. "The roof had holes big enough for pigeons to fly through," laughs Hardeman. "I think I shoveled about 600 pounds of pigeon poop off the marquee alone."
Sandy Farris, Executive Director of Downtown Bryan Association, attended the event. "We are so pleased that Ben's hard work to restore the Queen has received national recognition," she said. "His unparalleled commitment to the project has resulted in the restoration of an iconic piece of Bryan's history. The Queen is a place where stories are told through film, but it's also a part of Downtown Bryan's story - one that will be forever impacted by Ben Hardeman's contribution."
The video below was recorded during the 2018 Awards ceremony, hosted by the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol, on July 15, 2018.