Phase One in Rees Theater Restoration Complete

Phase one in restoration efforts at the Rees Theater in downtown Plymouth is now complete.

Rees Project Committee Co-Chairman Randy Danielson said VANADCO workers finished installing LED lights on the marquee just in time for Christmas. The marquee was fully lit for Christmas and they will be on during New Year’s Eve. This was the last of the repairs to the masonry façade which included the rehabilitation of the playbill cases.

Officials have also completed a business plan and vision for the Rees Theater. The landmark is now a member of the League of Historic American Theaters. The committee’s mission is to become a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization to provide for the promotion of artistic, educational and cultural events, including film.

Future plans include restoring the interior to an art deco design era of its opening in 1940. The floor system will change from a sloped floor, fixed seat system to an all new handicapped accessible multi-level tiered floor system. This will allow for removable seating that can be used for theater purposes or for banquet-style seating. A new second story balcony for additional seating will also be constructed.

According to Danielson, a new stage will also be constructed for the opportunity for live stage performances. A fixed or retractable screen will be available for movies or presentations. A full basement underneath the existing stage will be converted into a changing area for performers. The current stage area will become a catering kitchen area with two levels of storage. Additionally, a concession area will in the center part of the lobby area with two new handicap restrooms adjacent to the lobby.

Cost estimates are coming together and more information on a capital campaign will be available in 2018. Donations are still being collected for restoration efforts through the Wythougan Valley Preservation Council.

Mail or drop off donations to:
Wythougan Valley Preservation Council
C/O Marshall County Historical Society Museum
123 N. Michigan St.
Plymouth, IN 46563

The Rees Endowment Fund
C/O Marshall County Community Foundation
2701 N. Michigan St.
Plymouth, IN 46563

Photo provided