Elba Theater receives $25,000 grant

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ELBA, Ala. (WDHN) — The Elba Theater welcomed a $25,000 grant that will be used to help restore the historical theater building.

The grant will go toward one of the project’s most expensive tasks: repairing the theater roof.

“This is taking care of some of the immediate structural concerns with the roof system,” Restoration 154 board member, Justin Maddox said. “Now we can go on and make those adjustments and then continue from there.”

The grant itself comes from the Fox Theater Institute (FTI), an Atlanta-based program that offers financial aid to restoration groups working to preserve historic theaters around the Georgia region.

According to FTI’s director, the Elba Theater caught the program’s attention as the project aims to spark more development in the city.

“Hopefully, we’ll have a domino effect,” said Fox Theater Institute Director, Leigh Burns. “Have more restaurants open, more shops open, and it will really be a means to having great economic support.”

While the theater is not complete, the vision for the finished project certainly is.

A glowing marquee sign, a refurbished lobby, and the restored original stage are all part of the vision for the multi-purpose theater.

“The space should be able to accommodate all kinds of events,” Maddox explained. “(It will be) a way to bring the community together.”

One resident told News 18 about her own big dreams for the finished theater.

“It’s going to look really pretty and the city’s going to be famous for one (theater) that’s in downtown,” said Zana Maddox.

With the latest grant, the theater is now $60,000 dollars away from completing Phase One of the three phase project. Phase One cost approximately $450,000.

If all goes according to plan, all three phases should be complete by 2022.

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