Work on restoring the Colonial Theater in downtown Buckhannon began earlier this year, with the first event in the building taking place over the weekend, a performance of the Rocky Horror Show.
On Wednesday afternoon, one of the project’s main elements got a big boost: a five-thousand dollar check to the city from Art26201 to help restore the theater’s marquee, a project right in the group’s wheelhouse.
“Art26201 was formed primarily to kind of take on these bigger projects, those bigger development projects, little bit more visionary, trying to bring this town into the 21st century of just thinking big, outside the box,” said organizer and architect Bryson VanNostrand.
City officials and others attended the ceremony and got a chance to see the changes already underway in the interior. Buckhannon Mayor David McCauley helped to get the project underway, and said he’s seeing more excitement around the city.
“The community excitement, it’s universal. Everyone wants to be in here, and more performing arts, and more plays and more musical productions. When the cinema upstairs is done and we can start showing documentaries or have the Addams Family Film Festival, it just brings the history and the arts all together,” said McCauley.
And that’s something downtown Buckhannon hasn’t seen for some time. VanNostrand has talked to residents who remember people lined up and down the street to see a show, and he said it’s starting to happen again.
“There was a line to get in the theater that went down around the corner, now it didn’t go two blocks, but it went, and for the first time in decades, there was something happening here on Main Street that the community came to,” said VanNostrand.