On March 14th the return of an historic theater venue came one step closer to reality with the transfer of ownership from the Wythougan Valley Preservation Council to The REES Theatre, Inc. In January, The REES was granted 501(c)3 status as a not-for-profit entity.
At the Wythougan annual meeting in February, the transfer was approved. Randy Danielson and other members of The REES Project Committee were present and personally thanked Wythougan for stepping forward in January of 2017 to assure the transfer from private ownership to begin steps toward restoration after the closing of the theatre in 2009.
In 2014, downtown business owners Brian and Lori Van Duyne together with Jim and Judy Vinall came forward and subsequently stabilized the building from further decay in hopes that one day the lights and activity would again return.
That day is getting closer and in the past year major masonry repairs were completed; the repaired and re-lamped marquee has returned a nostalgic look to the downtown streetscape with messages that spell out the pride and support that exists in Plymouth. The marquee is currently being featured in a regional television energy campaign by NIPSCO which assisted in the placement of energy saving LED chasing lamps.
A capital campaign, Pledging to Save the REES, is underway with a goal of $3.46 million which will allow the construction phase to occur in 2019 with sights set on a re-opening in its 80th anniversary year - 2020.
In-kind materials and services are being sought at this time and cash pledges payable over a four-year period are being held by the Marshall County Community Foundation.