Calumet Theatre executive director retires

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Laura Miller, executive director of the Calumet Theatre, retired Oct. 31 and received recognition from the Village Council for her years of service.

CALUMET — Laura Miller, executive director of the Calumet Theatre, retired from the position she has held for a nine and a half years. Miller began as a part-time box office clerk in March, 2004, and soon became operations manager, a position she held until she was named executive director in May, 2009, according to a release from the theatre.

Miller was honored at the Calumet Village Council regular meeting on Oct. 16, at which time she was presented with a framed copy of the council’s resolution recognizing her dedication and accomplishments.

At the meeting, Dave Geisler, council president, said while Miller’s retirement was delayed by a month, her final day as director was Oct. 31. He also recognized her for the improvements done to the theater’s building, as well as other undertakings.

During her tenure, she was involved with numerous improvements, such as ballroom enhancements, movie memory displays, re-creation of the 1930s projector room, new stage curtains and installation of security and emergency lights.

According to the release, she was also instrumental in the new furnace and heating system upgrades, new stage roof and door, refurbishing of the stage floor, box seats woodwork design restoration, new ticketing and phone system, Sixth Street roof ledge, refurbishing of the entrance doors with new brass hardware, new sidewalk sign and display window upgrades, improvements the portico entrance and the installation of the elevator.

Miller holds the distinction of having held the second-largest management positions with the theatre company and is the only executive director to retire from that position.

Board Chairman Art Limback said Miller left the theatre company in a much better financial position than when the board appointed her in 2009.

“She averaged 55 hours and more per week,” Miller is quoted as saying, “to keep the theatre in the black financially during her years as E.D, and she did it with passion and love for the theatre.”

“It’s been a real privilege, but it’s time to pass the torch to someone else with the spark to lead the theatre company,” Miller is quoted as saying in the release.

Miller’s duties have been divided between the new executive director, Marlin Lee, and operations manager Mel Sando. Miller continues to work behind the scenes as needed.