The City of Buckhannon has received more than $100,000 in grant funds to turn an old theater into a modern arts center.
Buckhannon learned Monday that it had been awarded an $102,000 grant from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History to continue transforming the historic Colonial Theatre, at 48 E. Main St., into a multi-purpose space/arts center, according to a city press release. The grant was made possible through the National Endowment for the Arts and the state legislature. Built in 1924, the historic structure operated as the Colonial Theatre from 1924 to 1973 before morphing into the Cinema Theatre from 1973-1980. Then, in 1980, it seesawed between functioning either as a restaurant or bar until its closure in 2014.
In January 2017, the city purchased the structure from Catherine Cuppari for $60,000.
City officials couldn’t be happier about the news, although they weren’t completely surprised, mayor David McCauley said Monday. The primary preparer of the grant application — city architect Bryson VanNostrand — had seemed hopeful that the city would be awarded at least some funding, although he wasn’t sure how much, McCauley said.