Institute grants Tift Theatre $70K for facelift

Video from WALB
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 11:06 PM EST
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TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - Tift Theatre recently received a $70,000 grant issued by Fox Theatre institute to help with facility improvements.

Throughout the years, city leaders say bad weather has caused major damage to the Tift Theatre. They say receiving the grant will help bring this landmark back to life.

Acting City Manager Emily Beeman said letters were falling from the sign, glass was found on the sidewalk beneath the marquee and the neon lights need to be replaced.

“A few years ago, Hurricane Michael came through and caused major damage to the marquee as well as a lot of the neon that is hooked to the marquee and the bright lights for the Tift Theatre, we knew then that it was in deep despair, and we needed to do something about it,” Beeman said.

Central Jewelry is another landmark in the downtown area that sits adjacent to the theater. WALB spoke with the owner of the store, Johnathan Falotico, about his thoughts on the facelift renovation.

“I think it’s a great thing beautifying our downtown. It’s going to be good for business. I think anything we can do to make our downtown more attractive is going to be an incentive for business growth” Falotico said.

Despite the new changes being implemented, city leaders say it’s important to uphold the theater’s historic preservation. Beeman says after the renovations and the lights will change from neon to LED, however, but both marquees will still look the same.

“The theater, as well as the marquee, LED all of the lights that flash and shine day, are the heartbeat of downtown they draw and lots of crowds for our downtown merchants,” Beeman said.

The renovations are set to start this year, with hopes to be completed sometime in 2023.