Grant could be final move to push Royal Theater project forward

Published 10:00 am Friday, December 10, 2021

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HOGANSVILLE – The Hogansville City Council approved at its Monday meeting for the city to send off an application to the Economic Development Administration, a step that could get the Royal Theater restoration project moving.

Hogansville has applied for $750,000 in the form of an EDA grant. If granted, this amount would bring the rehabilitation fund total to just over $2 million, the amount required to put the project out to bid, Hogansville City Manager Jonathan Lynn said.

Hogansville currently has $1.2 million available for the Royal Theater restoration project from the Callaway Foundation the United States Department of Agriculture, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the 2013-2018 Royal Theater SPLOST fund and individual donations. The city almost had a Department of Community Affairs grant but it fell through, Mayor Bill Stankiewicz said.

“They changed [the grant,] and the building didn’t qualify anymore,” he said, adding that the EDA grant would fulfill the gap the former created.

In September, the architect for the project retired but completed the renditions of the new theater.  In the theater’s heyday, it encased 850 seats, Stankiewicz said, but seats will be smaller post-renovation and space will allow for at least 300. Stankiewicz added that the plan is to extend the theater’s function past traditional movie watching, but also for live music and theater performances. Plans additionally call for having a meeting space and a dressing room area. The theater’s historic balcony is also set to stay. 

The project’s expected completion date was previously slated for summer 2023.