Columbus, NE - Losing a piece of downtown

posted by ThrHistoricalSociety on August 1, 2016 at 8:29 am

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From The Columbus Telegram: Onlookers gathered along 13th Street Wednesday as they watched a part of downtown Columbus disappear.

The old Columbus Theater marquee suffered significant damage in recent storms that neighboring business owners said left it sagging.

The theater that closed in the early 1990s has been a cornerstone in the downtown district and residents’ memories. It was hard for some to watch as the triangular, yellow sign with blue and red lettering was taken down and loaded onto a trailer.

“It’s been there forever,” said Bryan Rockford as he watched the removal. “I remember going to the movies there. It’s just part of my life and my younger years. It saddens me to see it come down instead of restored.”

Rockford, who lives in an apartment above a downtown shop, said he’s been watching downtown slowly fade away. A move like this makes the transformation even worse, he said.

“I think this is the attraction downtown needs,” he said, lobbying for a restoration of the theater. “It needs it because I think downtown is drying up and this is just one more thing. The only thing missing is a tumbleweed blowing down the road.

Mayor Mike Moser, who owns Columbus Music a few doors down from the old theater, said he was sad to see the marquee go because he has childhood memories associated with the building. But he understood the reasoning since it was damaged.

“The renovation of the theater has been a popular topic for about 20 years,” Moser said. “There has been a lot of people who talk about it and dream about it. It was my understanding that (Mac) Hull was trying to get it together but it just never happened.”

Hull, who owns the theater building, could not be reached Wednesday to comment on his plans for the sign.

Barb Siedlik, coordinator of the Downtown Business Association, and her husband Mike Siedlik, owner of Siedlik Signs and a Platte County Historical Society board member, want to save the marquee.

“We’re hoping to keep it in the Columbus history,” Barb Siedlik said. “We’re hoping it will become a part of the Platte County Historical Society.”

Link to the story: http://columbustelegram.com/news/local/losing-a-piece-of-downtown/article_2eb12d92-9b77-545c-913e-6625e4f779ea.html

ABOUT THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA: Founded by Ben Hall in 1969, the Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) celebrates, documents and promotes the architectural, cultural and social relevance of America’s historic theatres. Through its preservation of the collections in the American Theatre Architecture Archive, its signature publication Marquee™ and Conclave Theatre Tour, THS increases awareness, appreciation and scholarly study of America’s theatres.

Learn more about historic theatres in the THS American Theatre Architecture Archives and on our website at historictheatres.org

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