A theatre in Weyburn is yet another step toward being a reality.
With the recent completion of the asbestos removal by a local company, the Weyburn Community Theatre Service Coop is working on scheduling the demolition for the old Soo Theatre.
"The biggest challenge with demolition is that it's a relatively small project, so for a demo company to mobilize just for that in the winter time, it really depends on what else they've got going on,” said Ryan Janke with the Weyburn Community Theatre Service Coop.
“So it's really just a scheduling conflict right now, but it'll be down probably before spring,” he added.
“Having the asbestos done is a huge step forward. There's a lot of work that you can't see that's inside the building that it's going to save us a whole lot down the road.”
While the demolition company has said they'll recycle the bricks from the old theatre building, the sentimental may spur on some to request that the bricks be sold off as part of a fundraiser for the new theatre.
“If there's an interest in that, it's definitely something we could look at,” Janke commented. “A lot of those bricks are really in good condition and sort of an original 1949 Soo Theatre brick, which certainly could be a piece of Weyburn history you could own.”
It's the marquis, however, that holds nostalgia for most.
“They're very confident we can save the sign. As everyone knows, the sign is kind of a Weyburn landmark. And worst case, we'll definitely be able to save the letters off of it, and the rest could probably be reconstructed, but they're pretty confident that we got to sign up there somehow. We can get it down somehow.”
He said they will be welcoming new board members in the new year, once they have a firm timeline for things including the demolition project.
“It doesn't make much sense to have a large membership ahead of that, but once that's in place, we'll be doing that as part of the fundraising effort and trying to get some more community feedback for what people might like to see,” explained Janke.
Fundraising, he shared, has been going well, sitting at 30 percent toward their goal.
“There are still a couple of large sponsorships available, and once we have the design finalized and construction started, we'll have some exciting new fundraisers, not unlike the brick idea there, that people who don't necessarily want to throw five or six digits at it, can certainly also still be involved.”
“We want to do is turn this into as much of community projects we possibly can. So once we actually have a new building up, we'll start opening up to memberships and get as much feedback as we can,” he stated.
Just like any wholly community-owned coop, they'll incorporate such that all the money will stay local.
“The ownership will be in Weyburn, and all the money will stay within the organization,” he said.
The new theatre will include two screens, “one for your big blockbuster movies, and then one to have something on the side that also allows you to open up the special events and stuff that your contract with the studios wouldn't allow you to do if you only have the one screen.”
Find out about sponsorship opportunities at weyburntheatre.com