Major renovations coming to The Grand Theatre

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 11:53 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Renovations to the Grand Theatre started on Tuesday. The theater was planned to undergo major improvements such replacing the light fixtures with LED lighting, upgrading the sound system, making the facility more ADA accessible and replacing the seats.

The 1930′s era seats were installed in the early ‘90s. Workers came in to begin the upgrades by removing the chairs Tuesday. The seats were planned to be sold to anyone who wanted any.

Mike Bockoven, member of the Grand Foundation Board, said they were looking to raise $500,000 in donations for the “What These Seats Have Seen” campaign. He said they felt fairly confident they could reach this goal.

“The community has come out for The Grand in the past, right? This is a place that people have told us over and over again, is a value to the community, is one of the things that make Grand Island what it is,” Bockoven said. “We’ve been around for a long time; we were kind of woven into the tapestry of Railside.”

Though theater was undergoing some major renovations, Bockoven said the feel and look of the building wouldn’t change.

“The Grand is going to be refreshed but it is not going to change,” he said. “So, we’re not going to bring in BarcaLoungers, we’re not going to add a kitchen, you know. We’re not becoming a different theater, we’re going to be the movie house that we’ve always been, just with a little better experience for the moviegoers.”

The Grand Theatre will be closed due to renovations through the remainder of 2021. Bockoven said they would alert the community when they reopened in January 2022.

To make a donation to the project, people were able to contribute on The Grand Theatre website.

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