Blue River Arts Council committee members pause in front of the Isis Theatre during the demolition and clean up day on June 23. Pictured are, from left: Miriam Weber, Shaylene Smith, Kristi Capek, Val Andelt, Kate Hesser, Lacey Franzen (kneeling) and Jennifer Robison.

June 23 marked a big day in the progress of the Isis Theatre remodel as volunteers, including three professional tradesmen, participated in the Blue River Arts Council’s community/volunteer demolition and clean-up day. 

The volunteers tore down the concession stand, both bathrooms and supply closet as well as doors and partition in the main lobby. All the carpeting was removed and the backstage area was completely cleaned. 

According to Kate Hesser, Isis Theatre renovation chair for the BRAC, the next step is to review plans with the city to determine a new layout for the lobby/concession area and new bathrooms. After approval, the council will work with the city on bidding out these projects. 

The theater is now owned by the City of Crete, but BRAC intends to purchase the building to create a “non-profit, community-owned, volunteer-run theater,” Hesser said. 

Nebraska currently has around 30 theaters operating like that, and BRAC wants to bring that to Crete as well. 

BRAC holds fundraisers and looks for grants and donations to pay for the renovation, remodeling and eventually reopening of the theater. So far they have held a 1980’s style prom gala that raised approximately $20,000, which helped pay for the initial purchase of the building. They also have received grants. 

The second fundraiser they have been working on is called Birds of a Feather. Twenty cardinals, similar to the hearts or lightbulbs in Lincoln, are being decorated by local artists and on July 18 will be presented at the Saline County Fair.

There will be more opportunities to help with the Isis Theatre project including another potential volunteer day to address the main auditorium of the theatre. 

Follow Blue River Arts Council on Facebook to keep up to date on all its projects and events. 

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