Strong City group working, hosting fundraiser to restore historic 1900 theater

Local News

STRONG CITY (KSNT) – A group in Strong City is working to restore a historic piece of the city’s downtown. The Uptown Theater, also known as the Strong City Opera House, is located at 501 Cottonwood Street. The historic theater is now being renamed 1900 Theater for the year it was built.

The Strong City Preservation Alliance is spearheading the restoration efforts. Most of the theater was destroyed when the roof collapsed in 2000. The roof has since been rebuilt and a new “Uptown” sign has been installed out front.

The group received a $90,000 grant earlier this year to restore the lobby of the historic theater. SCPA Treasurer Justin Garr said they plan to stay true to the theater’s roots.

“When the building collapsed, the roof collapsed, the lobby was saved and part of the stage was also saved,” Garr said. “We’re going to restore that back to its original shape, design, structure to make it as realistic and as original as possible.”

SCPA is taking bids right now for the work on the lobby. President Kay Lauer said they hope to have the work complete by the end of 2022.

“Whenever I was a child I would come here every weekend and watch the movie that was being played,” Lauer said. “The Doolittles here in Strong City, Dudley loved having the kids come in every Saturday and watch the movie. We just want to get it restored and used again.”

The next step in the restoration is rebuilding the auditorium floor. Lauer said they are searching for grants and fundraising for the next project. People can donate online by clicking here.

The SCPA is hosting “A Black Tie Affair” at 1900 Theater at 5:00 p.m. Saturday. It is casual dress, but guests must be wearing a black tie in some way. There will be food, live music, and a live auction. Tickets are $50 each.

Tickets may be purchased from Strong City Preservation Alliance Board Members Kay Lauer, Justin Garr, Marilyn McComber, Elena Rettiger-Lincoln, Ross MacTaggart, Steve Slaight, and Martha Sharp or emailing the Alliance at strongcitypreservationalliance@gmail.com.

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