Grand Theatre Renovation Raises Curtain on Downtown Growth

The $1-Million renovation project on a historic theatre that shows second run movies is inspiring others to make the upgrade to their business.

The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce says a thriving downtown helps bring in more business and future projects

The renovation on the Historic Grand Theater is almost complete.

'The goal was to restore the grand to its original state when it opened as it is in its present form in 1937," said President of Grand Foundation Craig Hand.

Many are calling the Grand a destination place, with plenty of people spending their money here on the weekends, when its open.

"And because of that draw other businesses have chosen to locate in Grand Island or chosen to expand their offerings to the patrons of the theatre," said Cindy Johnson with the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce.

Johnson says after a customer visits the grand they may visit another business like a coffee shop or a wine bar.

"Anytime you get more pedestrian traffic and more people coming down, people see it as a more attractive area to put a business because they know the traffic equates to income," said Hand.

The income means more business in the future

"And we are going to branch out and use the Grand as an engine to drive projects downtown try to help people financially," said Hand.

The extra money also equates to more projects.

"Over the course of the next year we should see the downtown lighting program unveiled and that historic lighting will add another element to the area," said Johnson.

An element that Johnson says will complement other areas and businesses in downtown like the Grand Theatre.

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