WHITE COUNTY, Ind.(WLFI)—A historic theater in White County is getting a facelift. The Monon Civic Preservation Society raised more than $250,000 to restore The Monon Theater. It’s a part of history they want to save.
“More than ten years ago it was abandoned,” said Secretary for the Monon Civic Preservation Society Julie Gutwein.
They are working to revamp the historic theatre that has been a part of the community since the 1930s.
“One of our members, the vice president, made the suggestion that we should buy it,” said Gutwein. “But it had a ten-year non-compete so there was nothing we could do with it.”
The non-compete clause came after the theatre closed its doors back in 2005. That’s when the previous owners moved to another community to build another facility. The Monon Civic Preservation Society purchased the building in 2013.
“We’ve had fundraisers, we’ve had grants, we’ve started working – we have volunteer labor,” said Gutwein.
President for the Monon Civic Preservation Society Dick Stimmel said they’ve already taken care of the largest expense of the renovation, spending $60,000 to repair the roof.
“When we purchased the theatre there were two places that in the auditorium roof you could throw a car through,” said Stimmel.
With designs completed for the inside of the theatre. It’s set to have a railroad theme inspired by Monon’s railroad history.
“We hope that it’ll be kind of self-fulfilling where it will draw people in the involvement and the backing and so forth from the community members,” said Stimmel.
The next step is to repair the entrance and slowly move inside. The preservation society says the goal is to bring back a piece of history for the community.
“They’ll be able to come to the theatre for movies, for events, and be a place of center for the community together,” said Gutwein.
The preservation society is also allowing people to purchase seats inside the theatre. The seats will have plaques in remembrance of a loved one.