The Grand Theatre Restoration Project
In March of 2018 Border Arts Corridor (BAC) acquired the non-profit status from Douglas Arts and Humanities Association which had been serving the community since 1972. Along with the 501(c)(3) designation came ownership of the historic Grand Theatre in downtown Douglas. As the new caretakers of the Grand Theatre, Border Arts Corridor is working to advance the restoration of the theatre and provide a vibrant cultural center for our bi-national community.
The Grand Theatre first opened in 1919, designed by M. Eugene Durfee, a prolific architect whose work is celebrated across southern California and Arizona. Ginger Rogers, Pavlova and John Philip Sousa performed on stage at the Grand Theatre, along with dozens of local and regional artists. Originally, the theatre also housed a tea room, candy store, and a barbershop. This Southwestern Art Deco gem was the epicenter of live stage productions, movies, and even Douglas High School graduations, until its closing in 1958.
The Grand was recognized by the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, and later added to the "Endangered List" of historical buildings, requiring immediate measures for its preservation.
The Grand needs your help
After years of neglect, the theatre suffered a collapsed roof due to clogged rain gutters and massive interior damage from the infiltrating water. Over the past decade, more than $250,000 dollars and hundreds of hours in sweat equity has been put into reinforcing the structural integrity of the building. With the completion of Phase I and Phase II of the original rehabilitation plans, BAC is eager to continue this momentum, for that we need your help!
Phase III will require $100K which would enable us to
● Secure the building with new doors
● Remove rotting wood roofing above the stage
● Restore the entryway and lobby area
● Restore lighting fixtures
● Clear interior debris (trees are growing in the auditorium!)
● Create an ADA approved walking path from the lobby to the auditorium