Group looks to public to help restore local, historic theater


Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

METROPOLIS, Ill. - To Lisa Gower, she's unlocking a piece of history...

"We do want to show movies here," she said. She also considers the building a piece of work.

"It does not look like much when you come in," Gower said.

She's the president of "Save the Massac" - an organization that formed four years ago..with the goal of renovating the 70 year-old theater.

"This is something that we are lacking. Our schools do not have a theater where they perform their plays," she said.

Gower knows there is a lot of work to do. So, she's turning to the internet website "Kickstarter" for help. It allows people to create projects that are financially backed by supporters. Brian Hantak is developing a video, showcasing the importance of the theater.

"This theater has charm you can't get anywhere else," he said.

Hantak is a Southern Illinois University - Carbondale senior. He's majoring in television production and plans to shoot the video Labor Day weekend.

"This is just a hobby for me. I like tv production, I like video production. I like staying busy and helping out wherever I can," Hantak said.

For Gower, that help couldn't come at a better time. She grew up just a few blocks from the theater and says she won't allow it to sit empty.

"If you think a building has a personality. This building does. It wants us to fix it," Gower said.