By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

Construction is fast and furious at the new location for Eastern Oregon Regional Theatre, which opens in its new space for a Christmas show on Dec. 8.

“The office and costume room was built in a week,” said Leanne Hinkle, president of the EORT board.

The theater is moving into the space formerly occupied by Flagstaff Sports — still in Basche-Sage Place, 2101 Main St., but right off Main Street at the street level.

“It’s the first time we’ve had street visibility,” Hinkle said.

The theater has been located upstairs in Basche-Sage Place for several years.

The new location is bigger and includes a stage that is twice as wide as the one upstairs.

New theater seats will number about 60 — up from 45 in the old theater.

The EORT board of directors made the decision to move on Oct. 31, and Hinkle signed the new lease Nov. 1. It is for three years, which is how long they expect renovation to last on the Baker Orpheum Theater, which will be their permanent home a few blocks south at 1821 Main St.

“This was a leap of faith by the board,” Hinkle said.

For the past month, EORT volunteers have been building walls, painting, and moving all the theater’s costumes and props into the new space at Basche-Sage.

“We used the cast of ‘Director’s Nightmare’ to move the costumes,” Hinkle said.

The new costume room is organized with labeled totes and outfits on hangers — all easily accessible.

“Everything was two levels — you had to use a ladder,” Hinkle said of the old costume room.

Upon entering the theater, patrons can pay at the ticket booth, then mingle in the lobby or buy food at the snack bar before each show starts.

The actors will have dressing rooms and a large “Green Room” where they will await their part on stage.

The first show in this new space will be “A Little Christmas Spirit,” which opens Dec. 8 and runs for three weekends. The final show will be Saturday, Dec. 23.

EORT turns 15 on Jan. 1, and a New Year’s Eve party is planned for 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 31. Along with refreshments, visitors can learn more about memberships and season tickets, which is a new offering this year.

See more in the Dec. 1, 2017, issue of the Baker City Herald.