During a visit to the Bohm Theatre, the students of Assistant Professor Andy Boyan’s mass communications class were lucky enough to meet with Executive Director, Nancy Doyal. She grabbed the attention of the class when she announced a new addition was coming–a new screen.
Albion’s Bohm Theatre reopened in May 2015 after the completion of a 4 million dollar restoration of the historic site. Elizabeth Schultheiss, previous executive director of the Albion Community Foundation, was the backbone of the initial renovation.
Her empathy for the Bohm led her to sell the foundation’s building, which is located directly next to the theatre, to the theatre for an astonishing $1. Doyal said this act was what “pushed the snowball over the hill” which allowed the expansion project to begin.
The local community was “absolutely on board with having an additional screen,” said Doyal. “I am required, for the bigger films . . . to keep that film screening for three weeks; this community knows that.”
Currently, members of the community have to drive to surrounding cities to see genres of movies such as documentaries, independent films and art house productions.
In addition to the USDA Rural Community Development loan, the Bohm Theater hopes to raise $50,000 from an all-or-nothing fundraiser to cover some costs of the job. Reaching their goal by November 30th means they will win a matching grant from the MSHDA and MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program.
The Bohm expects to see nearly a 50% increase in revenue. “I do not have to hire more staff,” Doyal explained. “It takes the same amount of service to get people into multi-screens as it does to get them into one screen.”
The new building, referred to as Bohm II, will not be accessible from inside the current building. Doyal mentioned that the costs to add a door or passway would be an additional $50,000-$60,000.
Bohm II will include its own concessions stand, will accommodate 41 people, and is projected to open January 2017.
Photo via Bohm Theater
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