EXTREME MAKEOVERS: Theaters Renovated

The city of Knoxville was able to purchase the Grand Theater and now the work begins to transform the theater into more than just a place to see a movie.

“It’s a space to come and see our movies again, a space to come and see live entertainment, comedians and Community Theater,” said Dylan Morse of the Grand Theater Board.

The old Grand Movie Theater was bought from Fridleys in Des Moines and is undergoing a $500,000 renovation project.  Volunteers have been helping to gut sections of the building so the theater can be rebuilt like it once was.

A few weeks ago, more than 100 volunteers came to help with the project.

“We’ve got 1,600 Facebook fans for a business that doesn’t exist yet.  People are just ecstatic and interested to have this part of the community back,” Morse said.

The Grand Theater will hold another work day for demolition on Saturday morning at 9 a.m.

But it’s not the only local theater hoping to reopen.

A historic theater in Tipton is getting closer to opening its doors again.

The Hardacre Theater Preservation Association reached its fundraising goal to convert the theater to the digital projection system.  Donations from 150 people made all of that possible for the theater.

The Hardacre Theater has been closed since August but organizers said they believe getting the theater back to its former glory is important to the community.

“I still think that there is that need that people have to go out and enjoy and evening out with their friends and family,” said Shelby Wiskus, Treasurer for the Hardacre Theater Preservation Association.

“I think that it is very much needed and I think people still want that,” Wiskus said.

The group plans to renovate the facility.  They said they hope to have it back open by 2016, just in time for the theater’s 100th anniversary.



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