A vibrant theater thrives as the cornerstone of a historic downtown district lined with bustling shops, favorite restaurants, cocktail bars, and plenty of parking – all of whom benefit immeasurably from a season of sold-out shows. From creating new jobs, both within the theater and in surrounding businesses, to helping revitalize declining downtown districts, restoring these venues often results in saving much more than an historic structure. FTI works to help these struggling theaters and communities, to build a framework of support that will sustain these beloved structures, as well as the businesses and communities that surround them, for generations to come.
Since its inception, FTI has collaborated on 10 preservation projects in theatres across Georgia. Its grant funds (totaling $215,000) have leveraged additional community investment in excess of $332,000. Preservation projects throughout Georgia have included the following:
- The DeSoto Theatre in Rome received historic paint analysis and restoration of original paint and decorative plaster, which earned the theatre an award from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation in 2009.
- The Grand Theatre in Fitzgerald received funding to complete the restoration of their original stained glass light fixtures and its authentic Barton theatre organ.
- The Morton Theatre in Athens worked with FTI to restore their original auditorium flooring.
- The Ritz Theatre in Brunswick was able to retain and restore their historic wood windows, along with its iconic marquee.
- The Schaefer Center in Toccoa received funding for the creation of a preservation plan.
- FTI funding supported the purchase of new roof for the Knox Theatre in Warrenton.
- The Mars Theatre in Springfield received funding for the restoration of their lobby and the addition of ADA restrooms.
- The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia restored their historic marquee with funding received from FTI.
- FTI funding supported a complete façade restoration at the President Theatre in Manchester, Georgia.
- The Holly Theatre in Dahlonega is currently working with FTI to retrofit their original marquee with energy efficient lighting.