The Roosevelt Theatre, in conjunction with the City of Jefferson, announces the Fox Theatre Institute (FTI) has awarded the venue with a $32,500 historic preservation grant to develop a preservation plan that will guide the rehabilitation of the historic Roosevelt Theatre. Atlanta-based FTI is the Fox Theatre’s dynamic outreach program offering historic preservation expertise, consultation and education to performing arts venues in Georgia and the Southeast. The Roosevelt Theatre opened on April 29, 1920, and served the Jefferson community over 40 years by providing family entertainment. First run movies such as Gone with the Wind, The Lady and the Tramp and The Great Locomotive Chase were shown at the theatre.

“The City of Jefferson will be matching the Fox Theatre Institute’s grant award and those monies will be used to formulate a preservation and rehabilitation plan for bringing the Roosevelt Theatre back to life,” states Beth Laughinghouse, director of Main Street Jefferson. “We are excited to be working with architectural collaborative out of Athens on this project. This firm is well known for their work in historic preservation, existing building condition evaluation, and preservation planning, all of which is needed in this project.”

Once threatened and saved itself by caring community members, the Fox Theatre created FTI, fostering a strong sense of togetherness, empathy and insight that remains visible through its ongoing work. FTI pays it forward by helping other cultural institutions renew, reinvigorate and restore artistic vitality by offering financial assistance, restoration support and operations mentoring needed to leverage scarce resources and stimulate local economies.

“For over a decade, the Fox Theatre Institute has worked tirelessly to save and resurrect historic theaters throughout our state,” said Adina Erwin, vice president and COO of the Fox Theatre. “These historic landmarks hold immense cultural and economic significance in their communities, and we are passionate about ensuring these exceptional performing arts centers will be here to serve future generations.”

FTI’s Preservation Grant Program and Historic Preservation Services maintains an ongoing commitment to historic theaters and has supported 64 projects to date, totaling more than $1,580,817 in maintenance and physical improvement efforts. The program raises and awards funding to venues with projects designed to foster education through performing arts. The nonprofit organization also manages Georgia Presenters, a statewide booking consortium, which helps spark collaboration among dozens of accomplished arts presenters.

“Our donations and guidance extend beyond the physical repair of the buildings we serve,” said Leigh Burns, director of Fox Theatre Institute. “It inspires communities and acts as a catalyst for positive change in each neighborhood we touch.”


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