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Indiana Theater In Washington Has New Owners
Updated May 5, 2013 1:07 AM | Filed under: WBIW News
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(WASHINGTON) - The nonprofit Friends Of The Indiana Theater is in the final steps to purchase the old Indiana Movie Theater on Main Street in Washington.

The group will purchase the building for $43,500; considerably less than the original asking price of $305,000 that the AMC Theatres owners were asking.

A long-term, interest-free loan from an anonymous donor will cover the bulk of the purchase price, but the group still needs to raise money for the loan payments, insurance, utilities and repairs.

FOTIT President Rick Osmon says the building is in some degree of disrepair and there's some asbestos that has to be removed. A new elevator also has been mandated, which he says is an expensive endeavor. There is also mold and mildew problems and to repair the roof because it leaks. However, the first step will be to do a detailed assessment of the building. So accessibility and safety requirements are meet.

Andrea McCann of the Washington Times-Herald, reports the not-for-profit group is looking to local businesses, suppliers, contractors and others to help out with funds, time and/or expertise. He said the group will do what it can to make it worthwhile by promoting that support.

The group hope to draw organizations, businesses and corporations to have events there, as well as individuals. Eventually, they'll begin to show movies again and feature live entertainment.

According to Osmon, the Indiana was originally built as a vaudeville theater, and most of the trappings are still in place including the 1926 stage. He said FOTIT hopes to renovate everything to its original grandeur, although some irreversible changes were made when the downstairs theater screen was installed.

Osmon says the main goal will be to promote Washington business and tourism.
Another goal of the friends of the theater is to work with other organizations to get involved in community events such as Rail Fest and the July 4th celebration. Another idea is a "haunted theater" at Halloween time in conjunction with the "Haunted High."

Vince Sellers, director of the Daviess County Museum, offered to help with grants and ideas to promote the theater, according to Osmon. Anyone else wishing to help get the Indiana Theater back up and running can contact Osmon at (812) 610-2010 or FOTIT at 610-4102.

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