November 18, 2016 by Jill Christensen
The Enhance Iowa Board awarded $878,616 in Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grants to a fine arts center in Forest City, a pedestrian bridge in Nora Springs and a theater renovation project in Audubon. The three awards mark the first awards made by the new Enhance Iowa Board, created in the last legislative session through Senate File 2308. The Enhance Iowa Board approved the grants at the Nov.10 meeting in Des Moines.
The Rose Theater Renovation project spearheaded by the Audubon Community Cinema group received $61,250 in grant funding from the Enhance Iowa Board. The money will go towards the estimated $420,000 it will take to renovate and reopen the Rose.
The CAT grant award came on the heels of another grant the group received, as they were awarded a $15,000 from the Audubon County Community Foundation on Nov. 9
Linda Blomme of the ACC said, “We are extremely excited to receive this CAT grant. The application process was quite extensive, but it was worth the effort. These grant funds, plus those from ACCF really give us momentum going into our year-end fundraising drive. We estimate we have $100,000 yet to raise to meet our goal and then we can focus solely on the physical renovations.”
The ACC was formed just over a year ago and fundraising started immediately. The group purchased the Rose last spring and the extensive renovations began immediately.
The rebuilding and renovating is progressing nicely. Blomme noted, “The plumbing is completed. New concrete in the lobby area should be poured soon and then we will do a thorough cleaning so that we can begin the construction and remodel phase. We were in a holding pattern until we received word of the CAT grant, so now we can get back to work.”
Once the renovations are done, the ACC plans to reopen the theater, to show family friendly movies on the weekends.
“Our vision is to have special showings of older films during the holidays or host groups like school kids or folks from The Friendship Home. We want this to be more than just movies, we want it to be a place for the community,” added Blomme. The Rose Theater will be a primarily volunteer run organization which will help keep costs low for families and will show a new movie every weekend.
To follow the progress or to learn how you can help revive the Rose, visit their website www.rosemovietheater.com or search for Rose Theater on Facebook.
Courtesy of Jill Christensen, Audubon County Advocate Journal 11/18/16.