Posted: 7:37 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012
Here are who make up the Sorg Opera Revitalization Group, the organization that purchased the Sorg Opera House:
Ken Bowman: Owner of Bowman’s Framing in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky. He’s served as chair for the Ft. Thomas Renaissance, and on the Bluebird Arts and
Education and Music and Merchants boards.
Denise Brodsky: A non‐profit professional, she has extensive experience in development. She’s also held elected positions within boards of education, is a champion for several national issues, including helping lead post‐Katrina community recovery efforts. She has served in the arts and is currently regional director for the Children’s Hunger Alliance.
Julia Brodsky: A Louisiana State University Interior Design graduate, she has been a member of the Retail Division design team at BHDP Architects in Cincinnati. Julia is currently studying for her masters degree in Urban Planning at the University of Cincinnati.
Steve Hoglund: An independent contractor, his skill set includes long‐range planning, safety and analysis, systems construction, building mechanics, project management, demolition and reconstruction, specializations within the food service industry, and mechanical systems.
Jeff Johnson: A graduate Industrial designer and architectural photographer, he serves on the Ohio State Emergency Communications Committee, is a certified professional broadcast engineer for WNKU, and is the owner and caretaker of a number of late 19th century apartment buildings.
Walt McRee: A media and real estate executive, he serves as a developer, project manager and consultant; and designs, develops and builds residential communities, homes and spaces. He has revived and redeployed historic buildings and is a senior adviser to the Public Banking Institute.
Chuck Miller: A broadcast and management professional with a background in music production, development, programming, customerand public service, acquisitions, sales, studio design, disaster planning, tour management, and festival production. He has served two terms on the Kentucky Broadcasters Association board, now serves on the Play it Forward board, was the catalyst behind SORG, and is WNKU’s general manager.
Here is an abridged timeline of the Sorg Opera House’s history
Sept. 12, 1891: The Sorg Opera House opens with “The Little Tycoon,” a comic opera by Willard Spenser. Silent movies began showing in the theater in 1915.
1926: Samuel Finkelman buys the building.
1935: A fire severely damages the interior of the Sorg, destroying a portrait of Paul Sorg, who died in 1902.
1947: The building is remodeled and reopened as the Colonial movie theater. Movies are played through the 1960s, and then off and on in the 1970s and 1980s.
1981: The 90th anniversary is celebrated featuring Andrea McArdle, who originated the role of Little Orphan Annie on Broadway.
1990: The Sorg Opera Company is founded, and for the next 15 years stage shows are regularly held.
2002: Sorg Opera’s partner, Whitewater Opera of Richmond, Ind., folds and the opera house take a s financial hit.
2005/2006: Road Apple Music moves into the former Sorg offices in late 2005, and John Ross and Edward Hall, owners of Road Apple Music, purchase the opera house in 2006.
January 2010: A water main break severely damages the theater and the owners work to renovate the opera house.
December 2011: The building is acquired by Bayview Loan Services LLC and the building sits vacant, becoming an eye sore in the community. Also this month, Middletown Moving Forward, a non-profit community improvement corporation, states intent to purchase the Sorg.
February 2012: Middletown Moving Forward withdraws its contract to purchase because the bank would not allow the group additional time for more “due diligence.”
August 21, 2012: SORG purchases the Sorg Opera House, appraised for $262,680, for $32,000, according to the Butler County Auditor’s website.
The Sorg Opera House, 63 S. Main St., will have an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday in conjunction with First Friday and Middfest. The open house will continue from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.