Electra Theatre gets new floor, entrance
* By Lara K. Richards
* Posted February 20, 2010 at 11:18 p.m.
The historic Grand Theatre in Electra is one step closer to returning to glory.
Workers finished the latest phase of the massive restoration project in December, which included building a handicap-accessible entrance, as well as installing a concrete floor.
Jannis Hayers, secretary for Electra Grand Theatre Inc. and also executive director of both Electra Main Street and the city’s Economic Development Corp., said the latest work marks another accomplishment for the ongoing restoration project.
“It took us more than a year to get this part of the project done,” she said of the latest round of work on the theater, which began last March. “Getting work done was slower than expected, but we are really proud of the result.”
Supporters of the Grand worked more than a year to raise $125,000 for this stage of the project, Hayers said.
Fundraising efforts included numerous local events, such as a dinner and auction and old time medicine show. Grants also came from the Texas Historical Commission’s Preservation Trust Fund, the Southwest Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and The Priddy Foundation.
Locals have been trying to save the Grand Theatre for more than a decade. The project received a grant back in the late 1990s to put a new roof on the building, and the structure has been “in the dry” since 1998, Hayers said.
The new concrete floor was completed in time for the high school’s homecoming celebration in October 2009, and the theater’s doors were thrown open for a big fundraiser. The marquee urged visitors to come see the theater’s new floor.
The installation of the concrete floor allowed patrons to truly get a good look at the progress that has been accomplished so far, but it also provided a glimpse at the work that still remains, said Stuart Smith, board president of the Electra Grand Theatre Inc.