It's showtime at Windom's State Theater
WINDOM — The Windom State Theater celebrated the restoration of its interior and marquee with a lighting ceremony Friday night.
“I knew it was something I should get involved with and something I wanted to keep doing,” said Buckwheat Johnson, president of the non-profit organization.
While the theater was built in 1914, the marquee was not added until 1937. The group spent more than $25,000 refurbishing and reinstalling it through a grant from the Remick Foundation that aids art projects. The marquee now has 102 upgraded energy efficient light bulbs and LED lighting.
“I’m amazed at the number of people that have stopped and commented on our restoration,” Johnson said. “It’s great to get encouragement from the community — this has been a landmark for 100 years, and downtown isn’t complete without it.”
The group has also cleaned and refurbished the theater by upgrading the bathroom, cleaning and restoring the theater seats as well as upgrading the screens to digital. More work is on the way, Johnson said.
Windom Mayor Corey Maricle also attended the event, giving a speech about the historic landmark and watching the countdown to see the marquee lit anew.
The theater screened the movie “Free Birds,” a Thanksgiving-themed family film, to mark the occasion. It also ran a special that for every three kids, one adult got in free.
“We made the special to encourage people to bring their neighbors and get the whole community involved,” Johnson said.
The restoration of the marquee, Johnson said, serves as a symbol that the Windom State Theater is back in business — and that there will be more renovations to come.
“I just wanted to thank the community for all their support,” he said. “Without them, the theater wouldn’t be running like it is today.”
Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester
may be reached at 376-7322.