Harlem Foundation turning old Columbia Theatre into Cultural Center

By  | 

In Harlem, people are trying to pump new life into the old Columbia Theatre.

News 12's Meredith Taylor takes you inside the vacant building to show you what it will take.

Cynthia Hamblin was just a little girl when she saw her first movie at Columbia Theatre.

She can remember, but a lot’s changed since it closed in the 1960's.

“When we came in here, this building was full of junk,” says Robin Root, officer of the Harlem Foundation.

This building's been home to many businesses in the past few years, but now the Foundation is using it for fundraising for a new cultural center.

“It's going to cost us about 750,000 [dollars] to get it up and running,” says Root.

The foundation is also applying for state grants and more than 10,000 independent grants.

The money is needed to put movies back in the theater and also add dance and drama.

At first glance the Columbia might look like a mess, but when you look closely there's a lot of history here, like the projection room, which the foundation plans to keep for the new center.

A way of keeping a little bit of the past that makes this such a neat place for everyone in the present.

“Because this is a little jewel here, and it can be enjoyed by many people,” Hamblin says.

Creating new memories for people like Cynthia, who's just hoping the show will go on.

Long-term plans include adding a dinner theatre and crochet classes for adults.

There's no timeline on the renovation. It all comes down to help from the community.

You can mail your donation to:

P.O. BOX 99
HARLEM, GA 30814