From creating potential new theatre jobs as well as increasing employment for surrounding businesses, the Fox Theatre Institute also helps revitalize downtown districts by restoring architecturally significant historic venues and preserving important important landmark buildings. The success of the Fox Theatre Institute is also often part of larger partnered successes through local and regional non-profit and government organizations.
A vibrant theater thrives as the cornerstone of a historic downtown district lined with bustling shops, favorite restaurants, cocktail bars, and plenty of parking – all of whom benefit immeasurably from a season of sold-out shows. From creating new jobs, both within the theater and in surrounding businesses, to helping revitalize declining downtown districts, restoring these venues often results in saving much more than a historic structure. FTI works to help these struggling theaters and communities, to build a framework of support that will sustain these beloved structures, as well as the businesses and communities that surround them, for generations to come.
Since its inception, FTI has collaborated on 31 preservation projects in theatres across Georgia.
More than $825,000 in grant funds have supported projects throughout Georgia, including the following:
- The DeSoto Theatre in Rome received historic paint analysis and restoration of original paint and decorative plaster, which earned the theatre an award from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation in 2009.
- The Grand Theatre in Fitzgerald received funding to complete the restoration of their original stained glass light fixtures and its authentic Barton theatre organ.
- The Morton Theatre in Athens worked with FTI to restore their original auditorium flooring.
- The Ritz Theatre in Brunswick was able to retain and restore their historic wood windows, along with its iconic marquee.
- The Schaefer Center in Toccoa received funding for the creation of a preservation plan.
- FTI funding supported the purchase of new roof for the Knox Theatre in Warrenton.
- The Mars Theatre in Springfield received funding for the restoration of their lobby and the addition of ADA restrooms.
- The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, restored their historic marquee with funding received from FTI.
- FTI funding supported a complete façade restoration at the President Theatre in Manchester, Georgia.
- The Holly Theatre in Dahlonega recently worked with FTI to retrofit their original marquee with energy efficient lighting.
- The Imperial Theatre in Augusta received grant funding to purchase a new lighting board.
- In 2016, the Miller Theatre in Augusta received assistance with their pre-construction costs.
- FTI provided the Douglass Theatre in Macon a grant to convert their marquee to LED.
- In Madison, Georgia, the Madison Morgan Cultural Center’s grant funding restored the building’s windows.
- The Schaefer Center, now the Ritz Theatre, in Toccoa received FTI funding to fabricate a new marquee.
- Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts in Conyers received an Urgent/Emergency Needs Grant to replace its rooftop air conditioning unit.
- In Greensboro, Festival Hall used Urgent/Emergency Needs funding to install a new, safer auditorium stage floor.
- The DeSoto Theatre in Rome’s Urgent/Emergency Needs Grant will assist with the installation of an updated fire alarm system using original safety features.
- Theatre Albany’s Urgent/Emergency Needs Grant award helped complete repairs to the historic façade of the building damaged by severe tornadoes in early 2017.
- The Telfair Center for the Arts in McRae-Helena was a recipient of a 2017-18 FTI Urgent/Emergency Needs Grant to replace the previous ADA access ramp, complete some repairs in the ADA compliant restroom, as well as repair and restore some of their historic windows.