Rees Theater officials still hoping to reach $120k goal for emergency repairs

Jack Davis, with the Rees Project Committee, gives a PowerPoint presentation earlier this month at Plymouth’s Wild Rose Moon on a business plan for the Rees Theater.
By: 
Shawn McGrath
Staff Writer

Organizers restoring the Rees Theater have raised a little more than $3,000 via the group’s gofundme site, but they remain optimistic they’ll be able to raise the needed funds for emergency repairs.
Randy Danielson, co-chair of the Rees Project Committee, said Sunday the group has also received numerous checks dropped off at the Marshall County Historical Society.
The group is hoping to raise $120,000 before winter for repairs.
Danielson said classes at Plymouth High School are having a challenge to see which can raise the most money for the theater. He said whichever class wins, those who have donated will have a chance to win a theater seat.
At the Saturday, Sept. 16, Plymouth Farmers Market, organizers will be selling the theater’s seats in groups of four of five for a $50 or greater tax-deductible donation. They can also be purchased by contacting any Rees Project Committee member.
The Rees Project Committee wants to replace the iconic Plymouth structure’s roof and roof-access building, complete emergency masonry work on the building’s south wall and remove the theater’s quickly crumbling ceiling.
Committee members previously said they’re confident they’ll be able to raise the funds because they believe the sheer number of people who fondly remember the nearly 80-year-old movie house will be willing to make a small donation – and together that crowd could add up to the $120,000 goal before the deadline.
Before workers can replace the building’s roof, they must repair masonry on the theater’s south side. Any work done on the roof beforehand could otherwise cause parts of the wall to collapse, organizers previously said.
Roofing contractors have told Rees Project Committee members the south wall is bulging, and construction on the roof could break the masonry free. However, before the roof can be replaced the small, roof-access building – what the committee calls the roof shanty – must be replaced.
Organizers were aware of some of these problems beforehand. They knew the roof and its access shanty would need replaced, but in June a new problem arose: They discovered a portion of the theater’s interior ceiling had collapsed, a possible sign of water leakage into the building. But replacing the ceiling is something that could possibly wait until winter. But the roof, the shanty and the masonry must be addressed.
Organizers plan for the building to be a multi-use venue when it’s restored, occasionally showing movies, but also available to host receptions, meetings, educational programs and community events.

You can help!
Tax-deductible donations for the Rees Theater can be made in two ways. Checks can be made to Wythougan Valley Preservation Trust – or simply Wythougan – with “Rees Restoration” written in the subject line and dropped off at the Marshall County Historical Museum. Wythougan is the nonprofit group overseeing the theater project until Rees organizers formally obtain federal nonprofit status, which is expected in about two months.
Or donations can be made online at gofundme.com/reestheatre. Donations made online are also through Wythougan and tax deductible. There’s also a 7-minute video at the gofundme.com site. Or visit youtube.com and search using “Rees Update 8-2017.

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