Anthony GonzalezStaff Reporter

Last updated: August 04. 2013 3:57PM - 2079 Views

Anthony Gonzalez | The TribuneThe Reeves Restoration Board announced the theatre will be sold.
Anthony Gonzalez | The TribuneThe Reeves Restoration Board announced the theatre will be sold.
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Elkin’s most historic theatre will be sold to a private owner.


The Reeves Theater Restoration Board announced the pending sale via a press release.


Robin Turner, president of the board, and Cicely McCulloch, co-chair, said the Reeves Theater Restoration Project is entering the next phase of development of the property.


“We have been approached by an interested party, former donor, to acquire the theater,” they said via the press release.


“We consider this an excellent opportunity to move forward with private monies to provide the community with an iconic historic building focused on the arts in downtown Elkin,” Turner said.


Details of the sale amount, the name or names of the buyer, and the closing date for the sale were not released.


“The board is especially appreciative of our many donors over the years that have enabled the Reeves to accomplish so much in this phase of the restoration process,” Turner said. “The support of our community along with the money we raised over the last four years has allowed us to complete the inside demolition, abate the asbestos, dry in the theater, save many priceless artifacts as well as create a ‘Reeves in the Raw’ concept and bring performances of various sorts to the citizens of Elkin over the past two years. It was always the goal of the board to oversee the initial renovation process, so transitioning the Reeves is a natural next step to complete the work needed and bring about an operating venue.”


McCulloch, who is also a commissioner for the Town of Elkin, said that the Reeves was saved initially from possible demolition.


“With all of the repairs and abatement necessary to get the building to where it’s at today and placed in the hands of someone willing to keep Reeves alive, that alone is a major accomplishment,” said McCulloch.


The Reeves Theater is located in downtown Elkin. It was a major entertainment draw originally opening in 1941 and was in full operation until 1973. Genuine interest from fellow community residents resulted in a purchase.


The Tri-County Citizens Foundation, a registered 501-C-3, received ownership in 1999. The Reeves Restoration Board was started in 2007 in hopes of being able to return the historic landmark to a viable setting.


Advocates estimate that the next phase for the restoration can take anywhere from $500,000 and upward, depending on the ideas by the new owner.


According to McCulloch, that’s why putting the building in the hands of a private owner could be the missing ingredient. McCulloch is also the private owner of The Liberty building, an old tobacco warehouse on the east side of Main Street, which was recently transformed and renovated. Its restoration surpassed $1.4 million in private investment.


“Reeves will be the anchor for the west side of Main Street,” contends McCulloch.


With The Liberty anchoring the east side of Main Street downtown, Elkin may see a transformation of businesses in between.


The Town of Elkin was approached in 2006 about taking the property.


“We did not feel we could commit what would be needed in public dollars to make the project a go,” said Elkin’s town manager Lloyd Payne. “Thus, Tri-County Citizens Foundation took the property and began working on the restoration project. They have made significant strides in the past few years to make the project work. … The Town of Elkin has been supportive of the restoration project and proud of the efforts of private citizens and dollars at work in our community. We wish the future owner(s) of the property all the best in their future endeavors.”


Sale discussions pertaining to the Reeves commenced before the Town of Elkin’s budget workshops, disclosed McCulloch. At the budget workshop, McCulloch informed the board that the Reeves board would not be seeking taxpayer funding for fiscal year 2013/2014.


When asked where would the money go from the sale of the Reeves, McCulloch answered that it will pay off the debt.


“We are constantly having fundraisers all in an effort to pay the debt absorbed to restore the Reeves,” she said.


Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or email at agonzalez@civitasmedia.com.


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