project leader
Justin M
231 Court Street
(Downtown Elba)
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the project

The Elba Theatre sits directly across from the courthouse in downtown Elba.  This 5,000 square foot, art deco-inspired cinema building served the community throughout the 40s, 50s, and 60s, hosting musical performers, movie stars, civic events, and introducing film to a number of generations.  After a decline of its audience in the late 60s, it was converted to business space, and then a series of floods in the 90s left it vacant.

In recent years, there has been a large push from various groups in the area to revitalize the historic downtown (much in the vein of Creative Placemaking).  As a part of that effort, local nonprofit Restoration 154 bought the Elba Theatre building, succeeded in getting it listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage, procured $60,000 of design work to lay out its future, and raised (and spent) $75,000 for facade, alley wall, and structural improvements.

The ultimate goal is to help reinvigorate downtown through the preservation and ongoing operation of this special space, securing it for the future presentation of film, small theatrical productions, musical events, and art exhibitions.  The remainder of the work needed to make the theatre usable once again is $427,770 and it is exciting to share that 79% of that is in the bank!  As we push to complete this round of fundraising, we hope that you will take a part in making this happen!

the steps

The official start date of the final round of Phase I Construction is December 31st, 2019 and is set to be completed within 150 days (May 28th, 2020).  This construction includes a new roofing system, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, restrooms, lighting, fire suppression system, and interior furnishings.

Once this phase is fully funded, the team will continue to fundraise (the Marquee comes next!) and will begin scheduling events for the latter half of 2020.  Additionally, if you would like to join the "Friends of the Elba Theatre" group to be more involved, please let us know!

why we're doing it

There are very few opportunities for the community to gain greater exposure to the Arts in our area.  Yet artists, from musicians and painters to filmmakers and craftspersons, abound.  Additionally, for many lower income residents, the opportunities that do exist are simply not within their means.  The Elba Theatre building is important to our group because of its iconic look, its central location, and its historic value.  However, it is most important to us because of its potential.  As a venue dedicated to showcasing the Arts, we know that there is a great opportunity for this building to serve as a catalyst for building relationships within our community and for furthering understanding amongst our people.  We also really, really want to see the marquee light up the square!


Disbursed Budget:

Roofing Metal Roof Decking - $12,805

Miscellaneous Steel Framing - $11,250

Lighting Fixtures - $7,934.55 (of $8,400)

TOTAL RAISED = $33,015.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $990.45

Original Budget:


Roof Construction - $110,814
Exterior Walls (West Elevation) - $2,016
Roofing - $50,940
Roof Appurtenances - $2,400
Interior Doors (Bathrooms Only) - $3,840
Wall Finishes (Bathrooms and Interior Main Walls Only) - $31,351
Ceiling Finishes (Balcony and Basement Excluded) - $2,008
Domestic Water Distribution (Balcony and Basement Excluded) - $11,700
Sanitary Drainage (Balcony and Basement Excluded) - $8,820
Cooling Systems (House and Restroom AC) - $55,256
Fire Suppression (Balcony Excluded) - $61,918
General Purpose Electrical Power (Balcony and Basement Excluded) - $43,608
Lighting (Balcony and Basement Excluded) - $8,400
Fixed Furnishing (Bathrooms Only) - $11,160
Selective Demolition - $23,539

*TOTAL EXPENSES - $427,770*


ADECA - $281,000
Daniel Foundation - $30,000
Alabama Historical Commission - $7,000
Wiregrass RC&D - $2,000
Walmart Foundation - $2,000
Individuals/Board - $15,770

*TOTAL AWARDED - $337,770*

*FUNDING NEEDED - $90,000*

ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $2,785
TOTAL TO RAISE = $92,820


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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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