Kiwanians hear about theater

Staff report

SIDNEY — The Kiwanis Club of Sidney got an update on the progress of the renovations of the Historic Sidney Theatre when Sarah Barr spoke to members at recent meeting.

Barr is the executive director of Raise the Roof for the Arts, which operates the theater.

Built in 1921 for full stage performances and silent films, the Historic Sidney Theatre has been a fixture for the arts in Shelby County for decades, she said. C.B. DeWeese opened the doors to the then Majestic on Sept. 9, 1921, with a touring production of “Robin Hood.”

The theater was known by several names through the years, Schine Ohio being one of them. In the mid-1970s through 2004, the theater was transformed into a movie tri-plex and operated by Chakeres Theatre Co.

In 2009, RTR, the nonprofit organization that now owns and operates the Historic Sidney Theatre, embarked on a journey to bring the facility back to its original roots as a performing arts venue, Barr said.

Thoughtful considerations were given to all aspects of the restoration process. In planning the comprehensive restoration of the Historic Sidney Theatre, the board of directors set a goal of $3.5 million dollars to bring the theatre back to its former glory.

“We have raised around $3.1 towards the $3.5 million dollar goal,” Barr said.

So far, much of the funds raised have gone into infrastructure, such as roof and building structure repair, gutters and downspouts, a new HVAC system, electrical and stage rigging. RTR plans to have live stage performances, concerts, classic films and corporate events when the facility reopens.

On June 24, RTR sponsored the first of three Backstage Block Party concerts in the parking lot behind the theater. The evening was a great success. Other concerts are planned for July 29 and Aug. 26, Barr said.

Staff report