Fundraiser Tonight at Columbia Theatre
By West Kentucky Star Staff
PADUCAH, KY - A kick-off event is occuring today for the Lowertown Arts and Music Festival that's also a fundraising event to help renovate the historic Columbia Theatre.

Leadership Paducah Class #31 is teaming up with the Yeiser Art Center, Paducah Art House Alliance, and Lowertown Arts and Music Festival to host the event from 7-10 pm at 504 Broadway. Hillary Chambers of Leadership Paducah Class #31 says the event is free.

Landee Bryant with Paducah Art House Alliance told West Kentucky Star that Broadway will be closed immediately in front of the theatre, with entertainment provided by Peachy Nae and Dylan Leblanc. Cartel will be selling gourmet hot dogs, with Dry Ground Brewing Company, Paducah Beer Werks and West 6th Brewing Company serving beverages. All of the proceeds will help the "Save the Columbia Theatre" effort.

A plan in in the works for an alternate location in case of rain.

Chambers said many Paducahans have fond memories of the theatre. 

She said, "We have several generations here in Paducah that remember either going as a kid, or going on their first date, or taking their kids to the Columbia to see movies, and we're trying to bring that back so that my generation and future generations can have all those same good experiences."

Bryant said the restoration effort isn't geared toward creating a museum - the venue would be used by the community.

"We want it to bring economic development to Paducah, we want it to be an affordable means of entertainment. We want to show newly released films as well as classics and kid's movies, and do live music and stand up comedy. It can be a rental space for weddings, it can do so many things," Bryant said.

Work is ongoing in the $1.4 million first phase of restoration, which will secure the building and make sure it isn't damaged by the elements. The goal of Leadership Paducah Class #31 is to raise money to restore the historic exterior doors to their original splendor.

Published 07:02 PM, Wednesday May. 16, 2018
Updated 02:48 PM, Thursday May. 17, 2018

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