For about the past 10 years citizens of Moberly, Mo. have been working on renovating the Fourth Street Theatre. It is being built completely debt free but is still about $200 thousand away from the goal. Theatre owners plan to open it this spring.
Joe Snodgrass grew up in Moberly, Mo. and remembers the Fourth Street Theatre being packed on Friday and Saturday nights. Now, he is a board member helping restore the theater and bringing it back to all its glory.
“Well, we want to bring back some of the nostalgic feel of the theatre,” Snodgrass said. “We’re trying to replace all of the trim work and the color coordination and stuff to have a 1930’s 1940’s era to it.”
Howard Miedler works with Snodgrass in restoring the theatre. Miedler is the President of the Fourth Street Theatre Corporation. He says once the theatre opens it will no longer be a place for just movies but will also bring in community events and promote the community theatre.
“We’ve had, years ago, a very active community theatre organization but it kind of dried up for a while because there was no decent place to have play,” Miedler said. “And now that’s coming back so the community theatre will be revitalized.”
The owners are also adding a movie library. Carolee Hazlet is the director of the restoration. She says part of the theatre will include old movies and memorabilia to attract audiences.
“It’s like when they show an old movie at the theatre or something people swarm to watch them and find out more about them. Because that’s most people, older people especially, that’s the way they grew up, watching these old movies and that sort of thing,” Hazlet said.
Donations will continue to be collected until the board members can pay for the last renovations out-of-pocket in order to stay out of debt.