The Friends of the Garden Theater in Frankfort announced last week they are concluding their restoration campaign after reaching their $2.1 million goal. Learn more about this campaign and how these funds will impact the restoration and longevity of the Garden Theater.

This is an offical press release brought to you by Friends of the Garden Theater and MyNorth News Service.

There is cause for celebration in downtown Frankfort. The Friends of the Garden Theater, a non-profit group dedicated to supporting the longevity and restoration of Frankfort’s iconic main-street theater, announced last week that they are concluding their campaign after hitting the goal of $2.1 million. 

Chair of the non-profit group, Rick Schmitt shared, “We are so humbled by the overwhelming support of the community to save The Garden Theater for the next hundred years. Raising over $2 million dollars over the last 18 months during the pandemic reflects the incredible generosity that exists in Frankfort and beyond. The future of The Garden Theater could not be more bright.”

The Friends of the Garden Theater was formed to acquire the theater and enhance efforts for its restoration and longevity. They have been devoted to keeping the historic movie house sustainable, while simultaneously preserving its iconic character and improving the facilities for all patrons to access and enjoy. This spring, the group hired a new Executive Director with the intention of dramatic restorations, and now under new leadership, they have great expectations for The Garden to become an even bigger provider of arts and culture for residents and visitors alike!

Photo by Garden Theater

A peak inside the Garden Theater with its ongoing restorations. Photo Credit: The Garden Theater. 

The restoration process has commenced and is currently working towards a completion date of early fall. The decision to start was in order to leave plenty of time to be finished before the hugely popular Frankfort Film Festival scheduled for October 21 – 24.

On June 1, the $100,000 Matching Challenge was announced as the final push in their campaign. Rotary Charities awarded The Garden a $50,000 matching grant and private individuals another $50,000. Every dollar donated this past month was then doubled. Through the immense goodwill and philanthropism of community members from near and far, the $100k was reached and the capital campaign to save The Garden Theater came to an exciting conclusion. 

“My official start date was June 1st and what an exciting time to start!” said Katie Jones, the new Executive Director. “I am truly taken aback by the support and care this community has for the theater. Everyone wants to be a part of saving it and seeing it thrive. It could not be a better start for our future plans for The Garden.” 

The Garden Theater is an anchoring institution of Frankfort’s Main Street as that has clearly been reflected in the support from the community. Be sure to stop by this fall to check out the final renovations on this beautiful historic theater!

Photo(s) by Garden Theater