Grand Theater seeks grant for restoration project
PARIS, TX — In order to save the Grand Theater, citizens are taking a different route than usual by getting a grant.
The City of Paris is seeking a $200,000 environmental Protection Agency grant to be matched with $40,000 for the Grand Theater Restoration project. The dilapidated and abandoned Grand Theater, long a landmark in downtown Paris is being considered to be restored because of its historical value.
The restoration project grant is being sought from the Ark-Tex council of Governments board of directors. The twinned theater is closed but the marquee and colorful vertical sign remains intact.
The theater opened in 1937 and was designed by architect Jake Elder. It originally seated 809 people and had the largest fly-loft west of the Mississippi. It was twinned sometime prior to its closing in 1996 after a new Theater was built in the city. Sometime later the already deteriorating Grand’s property owners abandoned the building. Roof-top openings allowed water to seep in causing water damage and pigeon infestation; peeling paint and crumbling ceiling tiles make the building a health hazard. There is flooding in the basement and a crack along the outside of the north wall.
An article on the intial steps to restore the theater can be found at the Paris News.