The old motion picture theater has been renovated - complete with a new roof, a new heating and cooling system, a new ceiling and new sheetrock on the walls. The original seats were refurbished. And, light fixtures reminiscent of the theater's heyday have been installed.
To celebrate the theater's new look, Main Street plans to hold a dinner and grand opening ceremony Saturday. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Main Street Center with a menu that includes roast beef with a horseradish sauce, potato casserole, green beans, fruit salad, rolls and carrot cake.
Tickets are $15 for the dinner and theater program or $8 for the theater program itself. Tickets are available at Tiptonville City Hall and must be purchased by Wednesday because city hall will be closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Proceeds from the events will be used to retire the theater debt. Tiptonville Main Street Treasurer Suzanne Davis said the organization has invested about $100,000 in the theater and received $50,000-$75,000 in free labor from Northwest Correctional Complex prison crews working under the direction of Steve Jones and Gerald Bell.
Citizens also purchased plaques for each of the 259 seats in the theater. At $50 each, the plaque fund-raiser generated another $12,950 for the renovations.
Now, Main Street is selling spots on a wall plaque in the lobby for $25 a name.
Main Street officials hope the 45-by20-foot stage will eventually become home to plays, seminars and, perhaps, even movies. Davis said a theater owner in Memphis had promised to provide some old movie equipment, but he died before the donation was made. So, she's looking and waiting for some movie equipment. The theater has sound equipment, but it still needs a curtain for the stage.
A new marquee outside would be nice, too, Davis said. The old marquee and the old concrete film projection room were removed. Both were causing structural problems to the theater's front wall.
Among those being honored Saturday night are: U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Yates and Sons in Tiptonville; Forcum-Lannom in Dyersburg, Cargill Corporation, Reelfoot Lumber Company, Lowe's of Dyersburg, Bill Stalnaker, Harmony Lodge No. 184 and the Kiwanis Club. Recognition will also be given to the Northwest Correctional Complex staff, including Tony Parker, Tommy Mills (who used to work at The Strand), Gerald Bell and Steve Jones.