Jefferson has moved a step closer toward improvements of a historic downtown theater.

The city council approved a $76,000 budget adjustment on Jan. 27 to allow for renovation designs for the near 100-year-old Roosevelt Theater, located on Sycamore Street. The venue opened April 29, 1920. 

Grant money would cover $32,500 of the cost. The $76,000 would pay for interior designs and exterior renderings along with audio visual design and engineering.

“You will have complete engineered drawings, construction drawings, so that you could go to any builder and say, ‘Here it is,’” Main Street Jefferson manager Beth Laughinghouse told the council. 

The theater would be renovated with either a 1920s or 1950s look to allow the city to apply for inclusion on the national historic register.

A rehabbed Roosevelt Theatre would serve as a multi-use facility for movies, small plays, shows, lectures and music events. The venue could also be rented for private events. 

Architect drawings will determine seating capacity. 

Grant funding for this project comes through a Fox Theatre Institute grant.

“And there are three more phases of that which we’ll be able to apply for,” Laughinghouse said.


In other business, the council:

•approved alternative siding options for the Jefferson Downs and Jefferson Trail subdivisions.

•approved an intergovernmental agreement with Jackson County for soil erosion, sedimentation and pollution control plans.

•approved budget adjustments for audio visual equipment at the recreation department and helmets for the fire department.

•approved both a statewide mutual aid and assistance agreement and Jackson County’s hazard mitigation plan.

•discussed utility location fees. The city does not charge for the first relocation but could charge for the second if it wished, according to the city codes. Murphy said cities typically do not charge for this or have contracts. Quinn favored contracts “if something goes wrong.”

“If they bust something, they pay for it,” Quinn said.

•approved Clint Roberts, the newly-elected councilman of District 5, to serve as the new mayor pro-tem. The duties are rotated each year between districts.


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