New life is coming to an old building in Vermont’s Orange County, which made a cameo appearance in the cult classic movie “Beetlejuice.”
“I envision this space being the main hub for any community events,” said Kendall Gendron, as she showed NECN & NBC10 Boston the schoolhouse and Masonic lodge in East Corinth which she plans to transform into a space for community events and special programming.
Gendron’s nonprofit, Miss Shannon’s Schoolhouse, just bought the more than century-old building that served as a movie set in “Beetlejuice.” In the movie, it is “Miss Shannon’s School for Girls,” and is where Winona Ryder’s character goes to school.
“We’re just going to breathe a whole new perspective into it,” said Gendron, an entrepreneur who owns a coffee business in nearby Bradford with her husband.
Get New England news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NECN newsletters.
Thirty-five or so years after moviemakers came to tiny East Corinth, Gendron now hopes to transform the school into a space for concerts, theater performances, weddings, meetings, and more. She explained the Masons who sold the property required it would be used to host events that welcome the community inside.
“I just can’t wait for this to be crowded and full of people having a good time,” Gendron said looking around the upper level of the building, which is home to a stage and auditorium.
Wayne Paquette has lived next door to the schoolhouse-turned-movie set for more than 50 years, and even helped out when film crews were working around town on key exterior shoots.
“It was a big thing for Corinth,” Paquette recalled of the movie shoots, telling NECN & NBC10 Boston he still sees tourists coming by regularly to find landmarks seen in “Beetlejuice.” “I think it’s good somebody does something with it.”
It’ll take at least a million dollars to preserve and update the property, Gendron estimated. However, the nonprofit founder said she is undaunted, and is optimistic that grants, donations, and volunteerism will help create a vibrant new gathering place for East Corinth.
“Everyone that I’ve talked to is very excited about this project, which just makes me think that we’re doing a great thing here,” Gendron said.
The nonprofit is eyeing 2025 or 2026 for completion of all the needed construction work, Gendron said. She added that eventually, she even wants to hold a “Beetlejuice” festival, betting fans from around the country would come to town for that.
In 2021, NECN & NBC10 Boston reported on how the covered bridge seen in the popular movie now sits at Northeast Slopes, a volunteer-run ski area in East Corinth. It is home to the oldest continuously-operating rope tow in North America.