It has been many decades since a movie has played in the almost 100-year-old Grand Theatre and it may be more before one is again, but that does not mean this theater is dead, in fact soon it will be filled with people again.
This building is just a couple of years shy of a hundred years old and its old brick walls hold memories of generations of Saturday night dates and double feature matinees.
The search for funds for restoration has been ongoing since the 90’s–but in recent years, the community has found ways to use the theater while the grand dream still remains a bit in the future.
“We do have a place here— a gathering place for the community for their use,” Electra Theatre Inc board member Jannis Hayers said. “It’s only temporarily out of commission because of the seat installation. We’ve had things here over Electra homecoming weekends in the past for several years.”
After a donation of two hundred and 60 seats and a seven thousand dollar grant— another step forward is made.
Theater board members said they are grateful and delighted to get the show on the road.
“The most recent grant has been from our Economic Development Corporation to cover the cost of the seating installation the seats themselves were donated and volunteers made the effort to retrieve them, get them here,” Hayers said. “So the contract is for installation for the donated seats and we’re very grateful for that.”
Jeannette Miller was born and raised in Electra and has watched the progress with hope.
“It means a lot to me because working up town as long as I have going by it everyday and seeing it slowly decay was really hard because you saw we’ve lost a lot of things downtown that we once had and we no longer have them,” Jeannette Miller said.
Now slowly but surely, the historic Grand Theatre is making strides to be open for its second century in downtown Electra.
Next week, the theater will take part in Texoma Gives Day and then Oct. 27 there will be a benefit concert.
“Some of our friends have arranged for us a benefit concert and performing artist will be Paul Overstreet. He’s coming to entertain us that evening and we have a local band Steven Staley band is going to open for him, and we are proud of that group here in our area providing entertainment,” Hayers said.
You can get tickets for the concert here, all proceeds will go toward the renovations.
Board members also hope to have bathrooms reopened, as well as air conditioning installed in the future.
In August 2020, the theater will celebrate one hundred years and board members tell us to expect a truly grand birthday party.