The Journal Express
---- — Knoxville’s Grand Theater Foundation received a big boost toward meeting their short-term deadline of purchasing the building’s contents by December 15. Iowa State Savings Bank has donated the $20,000 needed to complete that task. In turn, Fridley Theaters will be donating the building to the foundation enabling them to proceed with further fund raising and renovations.
After learning about the project and considering the work ahead of the foundation, ISSB wanted to take the big step in helping them get the project off the ground and running. “We’re very excited about having the Grand Theater return to downtown Knoxville,” stated CEO Stu Job. “As Knoxville’s community bank, we’re pleased to contribute to the foundation and reinvest in our downtown.”
“It’s a quality of life issue,” Job reiterated several times during the presentation. He sees a long-term benefit in revitalizing the theater as a non-profit entity whose net proceeds can benefit other entities in the community, resulting in an increasingly vibrant downtown. “Iowa State Savings Bank is excited to be a part of it!” said Job.
“While we like to think our project is unique and special in so many ways, this is really just a continuation of Iowa State Savings Bank’s long history of making things happen in and around Knoxville,” said foundation chair, Dylan Morse. “Their philanthropic tradition and perennial support has been making a difference in Knoxville for decades, we’re so very pleased for their generous contribution to the Grand Theater and our community.”
Morse said the ISSB donation will help them in moving forward with marketing materials, getting information out and letting people know “what we want to do and what’s already been done.”
“We’re tremendously, tremendously appreciative,” Morse said. “This is a good day for Knoxville!”
Morse is grateful for the leadership shown by ISSB in this community-wide project. He repeated what has been said all along, that this is community project that won’t be completed without the support and participation of the community.
The Grand Theater Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity, and will now be able to begin the process of finalizing their ownership of the Theater building. Once they own the property, they hope to start the renovation process while continuing to seek donations, apply for grants, and host fundraisers and events. The group’s total fundraising goal of $500,000 will allow them to totally update and modernize the building, while bringing back elements of its past and readying it for live performances as well as first-run movies.
“We need the buy-in and support of the community,” Morse said. “We’ll get there. It’s going to happen. It’s going to happen soon.”