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Efforts To Light Up Booneville Theater Bolstered By Environmental Cleanup Grant

Many citizens in the community of Booneville may be looking forward to the day when the theater marque lights up again.  The next step in bringing the Seale Theater back to life is a good cleanup job. 

The theater on Mulberry Street in the eastern Kentucky town opened in the 1940’s and went dark in the mid 80’s.  Owsley County Judge Cale Turner said a $300,000 EPA Brownfields grant will be used to address lead, asbestos, and mold issues.  When restored, Turner noted, old and new memories can live on. “It’s something we can be proud of, actually makes the little town look a little better and have a little more friendly to me, at least, feel about it because I have the memories of it like a lot of other people and they’re positive memories,” said Turner.  

Booneville Seale Theater Project Director Sue Christian said the actual cleanup may take only a few months.  Then, she added, all efforts will go to securing grants and fundraising to cover refurbishing. 

“The Brownfields grant is kind of like the key to be able to move on to the other things because, in a poor community, it’s hard to find those local dollars.  But, we’re looking forward to the day the marque comes back on,” explained Christina. 

Christian said plans call for a major focus on live performing arts.  She hopes the theater can be back in business sometime in 2023. 

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