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Kentucky Theatre pushes reopening due to unforeseen delays, funding

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Posted at 4:30 PM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 18:28:06-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The next time a message is displayed on the Kentucky Theatre marquee, Friends of the Kentucky Theatre co-chair Lisa Meeks hopes it's spell: "we're back!"

"Oh wow, it's really going to be so exciting," she dreamed. "I really can't wait to be able to welcome people back in here. It just turns everybody just back into children. The glee of being in here."

The nearly 100-year-old theatre has been closed for more than a year due to the pandemic.

"It's been really difficult and sad," Meeks said.

They originally planned to open next week, but they've had a few unforeseen delays.

"We've just run into things that we could not have even predicted," she said.

For example, they can't get certain equipment because of the chip shortage due to supply chain issues.

They were also recently notified that their projectors need to be updated.

Finally, they need to raise about $30,000 before they're comfortable opening the doors.

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They need that money for everything from restocking the concession stand to buying new computers and office furniture. They're also saving up for staff salaries because they know audiences may be smaller when they reopen due to the pandemic. However, masks are required and social distancing will be in place, according to Meeks.

Meeks says they have about $70,000 in the bank, so they still need $30,000.

To fundraise they're selling merchandise at events, they have a donation link set up online, and they plan to host another poster sale like the one they had Saturday.

It's all in order to revive the historic gem in downtown Lexington so the community can enjoy it once again.

"We're hopeful," Meeks said. "We're really excited about what we can do in here going forward."