Fans of Lexington’s Kentucky Theater who have noticed aging seats, time-worn carpeting and the need for a fresh coat of paint will have an opportunity to support efforts to renovate and update the historic downtown film venue.
“Friends of the Kentucky Theater,” a non-profit citizens group co-chaired by former Lexington Vice Mayor Isabel Yates and Steve Grossman, held a press conference in the theater lobby to announce an effort to raise $1.5 million to pay for renovations and installation of new digital film and sound equipment.
Fred Mills, the theater’s longtime manager and a downtown fixture, speculated that changes in technology will soon outdate the theater’s projector and sound system.
“We’re thinking that probably sometime in 2013 that we’re going to get a call from a film company and they’re going to say as such and such a date, we’re not going to make film any more. (We) don’t know exactly when this is going to happen, probably one film company is waiting for the other one to do this. Once a film company – if it is Paramount or Warners or Universal – once they make this announcement, probably all the others will immediately follow suit.”
The renovation plan, overseen by project manager Harold Tate, calls for a $250,000 investment in new digital equipment.
Seating and carpeting in the theater have endured 20-years of 365-day-year traffic and would be replaced at an estimated cost of $530,000.
Many light fixtures need to be replaced and lighting would be updated to accommodate more efficient LED bulbs. The group estimates that cost at $500,000.
The plan includes refurbishing the theater’s marquee at a cost of approximately $75,000.