Tybee Post Theater Board Hosts Ribbon Cutting!

January 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Tybee Post Theater

The Editor

(left) Mayor Jason Buelterman & (right) David Crass do the honors

“Getting the doors of this theater open is the one thing that most Tybee folks can almost agree on!” These words of Mayor Jason Buelterman rang true as he addressed the crowd gathered for an official ribbon cutting ceremony for the theater’s newly installed facade windows and doors on Dec. 17th, 2009. “Back in 2000 when the Tybee Island Historical Society purchased this building, it was one week away from the wrecking ball, and here is stands today a testimate to the dedication of those whose vision will surely prevail!”

In early December the Friends of the Tybee Theater received a letter from W. Ray Luce, Director of the State of Georgia’s Historic Preservation Division stating that the Tybee Post Theater had been awarded a Georgia Heritage Grant for $20,000 funded with proceeds from the sale of the historic preservation license plate.

The Friends of the Tybee Theater grant application was one of 37 received this past summer as part of the SFY

Inside the theater (left to right) Jason Buelterman, Kenneth Carter, David Crass, Pamela Lappin, Jane Bridges, Cullen Chambers (kneeling), Terry Spazts, Cyndi Kinkel and Gordon Matthews - Photos by Nancy Heffernan, copyright 2010, The Tybee Times.

2009 cycle totaling almost $800,000.00 in grant requests, but due to state budget constraints the only license plate money to be available at this time was awarded to the top-scoring Tybee Theater project. Competition for the Georgia Heritage Grant Program is strong, and the group is very proud of this accomplishment. The $20,000 grant award for further rehabilitation was used to complete the purchase and installation of new facade windows and doors for the building. The license plate can be purchased at county tag offices for a $25 specialty tag fee.

The group announced several months ago that grant monies had been requested for this purpose. The grant was facilitated by Executive Director of the Tybee Island Historical Society, Cullen Chambers, and the work was completed by J. T. Turner Construction Company. Chambers, Mayor Buelterman, David Crass, Director of the Historic Preservation Division from the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources, and FOTT President Pam Lappin were on hand to address the gathering.  Several board members were also present along with Jim Kluttz President of Tybee Island Historical Society and Sarah Jones, Assistant Tybee Light Station Director. City officials and members of the council also attended.  The public enjoyed refreshments and tours of the site, and the very first live performance of music to take place in the building since rehabilitation began.

Musician Michael LaBombard plays his saxaphone following the ceremony - the first live performance in the theater in many years

The theater has been in the news several times this fall including an interview by WSAV-TV reporter Randi Hempel about the grant award.  In October the Tybee Arts Association raised funds for the project by producing an original community musical, “The Treasure of Lefty the Pirate.” building was also recently toured by art patrons from The Landings, and featured during “Tybee for the Holidays” 1st Annual Realtor’s Tour of Homes. Plans for more events at the theater site are now in the works, and excitement is building community-wide. If you haven’t seen the new windows and doors, drive by and take a look.  The old theater, once so much a part of Tybee’s past is beginning to come alive again.  2010 may well be the year!  Next month the Friends of the Tybee will announce a new Board of Directors, so stay tuned…

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