Extreme makeover set for old Princeton Theater - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Extreme makeover set for old Princeton Theater

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The old Princeton theater The old Princeton theater
PRINCETON, IN (WFIE) -

The curtain will once again be going up on a newly renovated building in downtown Princeton.

Gibson County residents learned Monday night how a Stellar community grant will restore the limelight to the old Princeton theatre.

"I had my first date there," said Fred Hadley.  "Everybody had their first kiss in that building."

For Hadley, the iconic old movie theater in downtown Princeton is more than just memories, it's the future.

As the president of the Gibson County Theater Company, Hadley has spent years fighting for a permanent home for his group.

Now, with the help of a grant, the building will undergo a $4 million makeover and transform into a permanent stage for his actors.

"We've gone through a lot, "said Hadley.

He says it's been a nearly three year process, coming up with plans and securing money, but he expects that by sometime next year, the keys to the building will be turned over and the renovations started.

"Our dream has always been to own our own building, so it's very exciting that we're finally getting to this point," said Stacy Hurt, the Gibson County Theater Company's artistic director.

Hurt knows how difficult it can be finding venues around town to stage plays.

"I think people respect you a little bit more when you have a place that you're established and they can come and buy tickets and see your show and they know where you're going to be," said Hurt.  "It kind of gives you a presence in the community."

On Monday, the community got to see for the first time just what the multi-million dollar project involves.

The current plans not only call for a performing arts center to be built, but also for a community center that will be open to churches, schools, and other organizations.

"We're talking broadening the views and the horizon of Princeton and its community, so this is really exciting for us," said Ruth Dyer, a supporter of the project.

Organizers said if all goes as planned, construction could start early next summer.

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