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Rylander Theatre receives significant grant from Fox Theatre Institute

AMERICUS — Thanks to a grant, the Rylander Theatre’s historic marquee will blaze again in downtown Americus.

During Hurricane Michael, flying debris struck the “torch,” specifically the flames of the torch, that sits atop the Rylander Theatre sign above the marquee leaving the iconic sign and internal wiring damaged. A portion of the Urgent Needs grant went to fabricating a new face for the flames and repair of the internal wiring. The sign will again shine as a beacon for patrons downtown when events are being held at the theater.

The rest of the grant went to brick and mortar restoration. Following the hurricane there was water infiltration into the basement of the theatre. The 100th birthday of the Rylander Theatre is approaching, and the majority of the exterior is original. In the southeast corner of the building, approximately 1,100 sq. ft. of mortar was repointed and the brick was sealed with special waterproofing sealant designed for historic buildings.

The Urgent Needs Grant is a one-time award from the Fox Theatre Institute. The Fox Theatre board of directors allocated extra funding for grants to theatres in hurricane affected areas and the Rylander Theatre was a grateful recipient. FTI Director, Leigh Burns, came to the Rylander recently to present the Rylander’s Managing Director Heather Stanley and the Friends of the Rylander Theatre with a symbolic big check and to do a final walk-through to see the work it funded. Burns travels all over the state every summer presenting each grantee with their big check and thanking the theater and community leadership for their support of the project. Burns spoke with Friends of the Rylander Board members, Theater Authority members, Mayor Barry Blount, Council member Lou Chase, and other longtime Rylander supporters about the importance of the theater in our community and commenting on its beauty.

“We are proud of our partnership with the Fox Theatre Institute and greatly appreciate all of the guidance and resources they provide,” Stanley said.