Historic buildings in Atlanta and Manchester will undergo restoration, thanks to grant money from the Fox Theatre Institute.

The outreach program, created by the Fox Theatre, helps preserve historic buildings, revitalize arts programs and strengthen local economies. It will do so this fiscal year at Atlanta’s Plaza Theatre and Manchester’s President Theatre. Some details:

At the Plaza, grant monies will help restore the theater marquee, changing it from fluorescent to LED lighting and doing away with rust. The Plaza will look better from the street and be much more eco-friendly. The work will be done in time for the theater’s 75th anniversary.

At the President, FTI funds will finance complete reconstruction of the theater façade, from the marquee to the top of its tower and spire. The restoration will emphasize returning the President to the art deco jewel it was in 1935. Manchester, a city of less than 4,000, is in extreme middle-west Georgia, in Meriwether County.

Some theaters need assistance remodeling their lobby or auditorium. Some want to learn about sales and marketing, or need assistance with programming and ticket sales. Some want to train in-house restoration staff. The goal is to help these theaters become viable economic and cultural centers for the communities they’re in, much like the Fox has done under Atlanta Landmark’s guidance

The FTI’s previous projects include the Rylander Theatre in Americus; the Morton Theatre in Athens; the Imperial Theatre in Augusta; the Ritz in Brunswick; the Gem Theatre in Calhoun; the Springer Opera House in Columbus; the Holly Theatre in Dahlonega; the Grand in Fitzgerald; the Cox Capitol and Douglas theaters as well as the Grand Opera House, all in Macon; the Strand in Marietta; the DeSoto in Rome; the Emma Kelly in Statesboro; and the Ritz in Thomaston.

Before and after photos of recently completed projects can be seen HERE.


About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

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