The theater project began in 2000 when a committee was formed to look at the renovation. The project has seen many changes both inside and out; however, the project is far from over and a date for completion hasn't been set. Recent changes include the theater's parking lot, which has been paved. New fencing has been added as well.
Main Street Manager Kacy Markham says she's not giving up on the project and is going to attempt to seek additional funding through smaller grant opportunities. Markham began serving as Main Street's part time director in August 2004. She is the third director to handle the project but is very energetic about her position.
Markham said the renovation will not be finished any time soon. "We are going to have to take it one step at a time and one area at a time," said Markham.
The renovation has received at least $375,000 in grants awarded through the Kentucky Heritage Council, Renaissance Kentucky and the Carpenter Foundation.
Markham says there is approximately $25,000 in the budget left for the project, which will be going towards putting a new roof on the back side of the building.
According to Russellville Zoning Administrator Bill Pearson, the project cost increased $23,625 due to unexpected roofing problems.
Pearson was assigned to the project in 2004 by Mayor Shirlee Yassney because she felt the city wasn't receiving information about the project and because the city owns the building.
Main Street Russellville was created with a grant through the Kentucky Heritage Council by the Logan County Chamber of Commerce in the mid-90s. The city has contributed funding to the organization until last year when it pulled its funding, giving it to the Logan County Economic Development Commission instead.
Markham has approached the city council asking that Main Street be included in the city's next budget. She believes Main Street has a purpose in the community. She says Main Street is ready to move forward and use its resources for the betterment of Russellville.
Markham says all the proceeds from Main Street's 2005-06 events will go toward the renovation project. This will include the annual Fish Festival and the annual Tamale Fest as well as well as new events Markham says will be held.
The theater, when finished, is to be a multipurpose facility for the performing arts, cinema and community theater.