Our Town Schuyler: Colfax Theatre Renovation

The historic Colfax Theatre was restored 6 years ago. It now provides Our Town Schuyler with family entertainment every weekend.

Twelve years ago, John Sayer saw a couple of deserted old theatres in Schuyler and he decided that one of them should be brought back to life.

John and a group of energetic citizens picked the Colfax to restore. It took a lot of time and a lot of money, but Schuyler once again has a theatre they can be proud of .

Sayer says, "They renovated it in the 1930s, art deco style, when I came in here it was all corn board and very ornate."

Sayer's next goal at the Colfax is to add some performing arts to the current weekend movie schedule, "We need lighting so the extra money that we have raised for the projector we're going to put into lighting and additional sound."

Sayer says a lot of his personal motivation for restoring the Colfax came from his children, "I have kids of my own, one is 8 and one is 10 and I thought they need some place to go. And some good family entertainment has been available at the Colfax for the past 6 years, "It's just been a nice addition to the community. I know the community doesn't want to see it go, that's why they've help keep it going"

The operation of this historic venue is truly a community effort. Everyone in town pitched in and within one year they raised $72,000 for a new digital projection system. Sally Jakub says, "It's quite an amazing accomplishment for our town to have raised $72,000 in less than a year because we started last April."

As the treasurer of the Colfax Enrichment Foundation, Jakub is one of the many volunteers, "I figure right now it's my calling, it's something I can do for my community, it keeps me involved in the community, I just would hate to see it close because I know there's a lot of kids that enjoy it. It's a good feeling to know that by what I do it does help keep it going."

John and Sally are proud to say that there are number of high school students that give freely of their time to come in and sell concessions and clean up the theatre after shows. What they get in return is satisfaction and a free movie.

They hope to have their new digital projector up and running by June.