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Columbian Theater rebirth - an update

By Linda Waggener

Adair County School Superintendent Dr. Pamela Stephens and Production Director Doug Beard invited media representatives this week to tour the Columbian Theater and see the work that is in progress toward a winter 2022 opening.

Foundational work, which doesn't really show, was the first priority to assure building integrity. Beard said it is solid as a rock according to architects who have visited. The roof is new and each area inside is being checked out and updated. Electrical is done. Ceiling repairs and plumbing will be next, along with deep cleaning. Bids are being taken on lighting and sound upgrades.

The Columbian Theater goal is first to work with Adair County public school students, then Lindsey Wilson College students, then the community and surrounding counties who may need to rent the Theater.

Tracking the rebirth story:
  • Original Proposal
    An extraordinary gift was proposed, for the Adair School District to use grant money to become owners of the historic Columbian Theater over three years. The plan was given unanimous approval by the school board last fall. In the meantime, the theater is under lease from Dr. Ben Arnold.

  • First progress marker... Holiday sign lighting
    After a dramatic countdown the classic Columbian Theater sign was lighted up in the night sky for the first time since 2008. It kicked off the first of what the Adair County School District hopes will be many concerts by students in the future.
For more information, contact Production Director Doug Beard by email at Dr. Stephens is also available at the School Board's central office.

This story was posted on 2022-03-30 07:42:45
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CT rebirth: project leaders

2022-03-30 - Downtown Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener,
Adair County School Superintendent Dr. Pam Stephens and Columbian Theater Production Director Doug Beard welcomed media Monday for a progress update that can be shared with the public.

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CT rebirth: where in the world?

2022-03-30 - Downtown Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener,
If you recognize this spot then you've likely worked behind the scenes at the Columbian Theater, showing movies or preparing for a pageant. This is the back of the screen on stage, looking out to the front entry. Who knew when watching a movie on the giant screen that it was not solid?

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CT rebirth: changes underway

2022-03-30 - Downtown Columbia, KY - Photo by Doug Beard, Production Director.
The Columbian Theater interior will be mostly preserved, with only the natural changes required for it to transition from a movie theater to a performing arts center. In the front, at left, there won't be popcorn, but there will be a place for welcome and refreshments before going in for seating.

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CT rebirth: media ready to help tell the story

2022-03-30 - Downtown Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener,
Media representatives Megan Hutchinson, at left, and Beth Holmes, from the Progress and Voice, were among communicators present at the Monday, March 28, 2022 special event to document the path of restoration underway at the Columbian Theater. They are pictured in the balcony which will still be in use as changes are made.

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