JONESBOROUGH, TN (WJHL)- A Tri-Cities theater will undergo a $3 million renovation. It’s part of an effort to improve the economy in Jonesborough.
Mayor Kelly Wolfe of Jonesborough said once the renovations are completed, the Jackson Theatre will be able to seat over 300 people. This is a project Mayor Wolfe believes will make a huge impact on the economy, so much that he donated $200,000 of his own money to the project.
Katelyn Yarbrough, one of the managers at the Historic Eureka Inn, said she thinks this theater will bring bigger crowds to the town, which will contribute towards the economy.
“I think we will see a dramatic increase in overnight guests,” Yarbrough said.
The theater opened in the 1940’s, now the town of Jonesborough is in the process of expanding this theater with the purchase of the building next door. Mayor Wolfe said they plan on restoring the theater back to the 1940’s with the goal of the project to generate traffic in Jonesborough.
“We will have a venue where we will be able to host events after 5 o’clock 300 days a year,” Mayor Wolfe said.
Mayor Wolfe said the theater would host events like independent films, concerts, storytelling and theatrical plays. Town administrator Bob Browning said the designs for the project will be sent to the state fire marshal next week for approval. Once approved, officials will start bids for the project.
“We anticipate that we would hopefully be near completion by the end of next year 2018,” Browning said.
Browning said the project is made possible by the combination of donations and grants from the state.
“Money from the Appalachian Regional Commission, USDA Rural Development, Tourism Enhancement Grant,” Browning said.
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