Movie theater renovation meant to help grow Colquitt tourism - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Movie theater renovation meant to help grow Colquitt tourism

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

COLQUITT,  GA (WALB) –A vacant movie theater in Miller County will soon be transformed into a conference and performance center.

The small town of Colquitt believes the renovation will help bring in more tourism and money. Vacant since the early 1960's the 4,600 square foot movie theater is in desperate need of an interior makeover.

"I went and saw movies here for 10 cents back then," said Downtown Development Authority Chairman Jewel Worsley.

"When I was young we went to the movies on Saturdays," said Colquitt native Pearlene Kyles.

The Governor met with members of the OneGeorgia Authority in Thomasville Monday and approved 8.3 million dollars in grants and loans. Colquitt was one of the lucky recipients awarded half-a-million dollars to renovate the interior of the downtown building.

"We've been working on it for three years so this is really great news," said Worsley.

"It's a good idea if it's going to bring in more money for the city," said Kyles.

Since 1992 the city has worked hard to increase tourism with Swamp Gravy folk plays and the national May-Haw festival. "We want to work with them so we can do more things when people are in town," said Worsley.

And the city's 11 murals and cultural history will get world-wide attention in 2010. Next October Colquitt will host the Global Mural, Arts, and Cultural Tourism conference, which will bring hundreds of people from all over the world.

"Last year it was in Australia so we're very fortunate they chose us this  year," said Worsley.

The Downtown Development Authority hope their plans for the theater will enhance and expand the cultural tourism initiative they began in the early 90's.

"We plan on having conferences, using it as a training center for companies, and we want to maybe do dinner theaters," she said.

The multi-use facility will be called the Woodstork Center. They hope to have the project complete by mid-2011. The total projected cost of the renovation is 1.2 million dollars.

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