Landmark Plymouth theatre a step closer to opening its doors

A piece of history is coming back to life in downtown Plymouth.

The Rees Theatre closed back in 2009, but is currently under renovations to reopen its doors.

WSBT 22 found out that we could see the theatre opening within the next two years.

That's the goal, and today the theatre got another big check. This will go toward the $1.5 million dollars the Rees Theatre Project is trying to raise before October 31st.

If they meet this number, they will receive a matching grant of $300,000 from the Regional Cities Initiative.

The Rees Theatre sits vacant on a corner in downtown Plymouth, but soon that will change.

“We are really looking forward to the renovation and making it a keynote place in our downtown Plymouth,” said Randy Danielson, Rees Project co-chairman.

The building closed nearly a decade ago, but community members want to see it come back to life.

With grants and donations, the non-profit that runs the Rees Theatre started renovations last year –adding a new facade and marquee.

“The next project is actually securing the building,” said Danielson. “We have some masonry work that needs to be done so a stabilizing of the foundation.”

Then they will prepare for the interior renovations happening over the winter.

They plan on turning the space into a multifaceted theatre with a live performance stage and dinner theatre.

For many, this space is more than just a downtown attraction.

“As our children grew up we brought them to see all the cool movies like “Back to the Future” and “’Star Wars” and all those fun things, so this place has wonderful memories,” said Linda Starr, Rees Project board member.

Starr says opening the theatre back up will have a lasting effect on the community.

“For me it’s just a great thing to be able to be a part of making it go into the next generation and take on new life.”

Hoosier Racing Tire President John DeSalle announced a $50,000 investment to the project. Something the mayor of Plymouth says will jumpstart the next phase of renovations.

“To see people not only volunteering but opening up their wallets and giving to the cause of the Rees Theatre is very important, and we hope to get that done,” said Mark Senter, Plymouth mayor.

Successful fundraising this year will allow interior renovations to begin quickly.

The board is hoping to have a grand reopening in 2020, which is the theatre's 80th anniversary.

>> View WSBT22 Video