Membership Drive Begins!
The Tybee Post Theater is going to reopen!
Imagine having your own local movie theater where you can watch classic films, children’s favorites or the newest release right here on Tybee!
Imagine watching a play, listening to live music, or just sitting back and enjoying a dance performance, stand-up comedy routine, poetry reading, storytelling, karaoke contest or the latest Tybee’s Got Talent competition!
The Tybee Post Theater will be Tybee’s civic center; the hub for the island’s cultural arts and entertainment!
If you’re not already a member of the Theater, now is the time to join! Membership has its privileges: You get discounts to all events, invitations to members-only gatherings, our Post newsletter and a nifty membership card! Plus, you’ll be helping fund our restoration, cover our operating expenses and pay for programming once we’re open! Your membership is vital to our mission! We need your support now more than ever!
Originally Posted by Savannah Morning News Posted: July 8, 2014 – 3:23pm
The Tybee Post Theater moved closer to raising the curtain this week when it hired a new architect and announced a substantial donation to recharge the restoration of the 1930s movie house.
The theater received an unexpected donation of slightly more than $100,000 from a donor with ties to Tybee who asked to remain anonymous. It’s the largest single donation ever received by the Friends of Tybee Theater (FOTT), the non-profit organization formed more than a decade ago to restore and reopen the Theater.
The donation, which came in the form of stock that the Theater board sold for $106,000, was deposited into a new restoration fund dedicated exclusively to the Theater renovation. Along with two foundation grants of $10,000 and $5,000 received this spring, the new funding is a much-needed boost to a rehabilitation project more than a decade in the works.
The Theater board will add a $500,000 construction loan to the restoration fund and use that money to begin renovation on the auditorium and reopen the Post Theater, possibly as soon as the end of the year, according to Melissa Turner, executive director of the Theater.
Watch for a notice about a Membership meeting early this fall. As soon as we have construction documents, we’ll invite our Members to the Theater for a presentation on the upcoming work on the auditorium. It’ll also be your chance to see the new lobby, restrooms and concession area that were completed last year — if you haven’t already!
We’re planning some special fundraising events for the Fall. Remember Membership has its privileges and that includes discounts to all events! If you haven’t renewed your membership this year, please do! You won’t want to miss a thing! This is going to be a benchmark year for your Theater!
Our website TybeePostTheater.org is open 24/7. There you can renew your membership, purchase an engraved brick or star, sign up to be a volunteer or purchase Tybee Post Theater event tickets.
Thanks so much and we look forward to seeing you at our next Tybee Post Theater event!
Here’s a recap of our fun-raising events so far this year:
We rang in the new year, as we do every year, with the annual New Year’s Day Polar Plunge
This year’s Plunge took place under cool cloudy skies and some spurts of rain, but we still had nearly 1,000 locals and visitors plunge into the Atlantic at noon! The popular Gang of Goofs costume parade brought nearly two dozen gangs of crazily-clad contestants vying for a bunch of great prizes. The “Tybee Island Calendar Girls” took first place and won a weekend stay in a Tybee Beach Vacation Rental, a boat trip to Little Tybee Island from Sundial Charters and lots of other neat prizes. The Plunge keeps growing in popularity; we have visitors come from surrounding states every year to participate! This year’s Plunge raised about $12,000 for the Tybee Post Theater!
In February, the Theater hosted the Tybee Island-wide Yard Sale along with founding partner, The Fish Art Gallery. In addition to the super sale at the Theater, some 24 island homeowners also staged sales in their yards or garages. Most donated a part of their proceeds to non-profits on the island. It was chilly but sunny, and the island was packed with bargain hunters. We so appreciate the volunteers who spent several days picking up and delivering, cleaning, pricing and finally
helping sell all our treasures. This sale netted more than $3,300 for the Theater. We will probably have another sale in October, so save all those castoffs taking up space in your closets and garages and we’ll put them to good use! Bill Blakey discovered an old alto saxophone in storage that, to his surprise, netted $500 for the yard sale! Let’s see who can top that trash-to-treasure story!
In April, the Theater hosted the 6th Annual Tybee Wine Festival with five fun-filled days of wine and culinary events. This year’s events included two evenings of Wining and Dining, the popular five-course wine-pairing dinner at the Tybee Island Social Club; as well as the ever-popular Evening of Oysters & Wine, hosted once again by Jenny Orr and Marlin Monroe’s Surfside Grill; and a scrumptious and relaxing Sunday Champagne Brunch at the Crab Shack. Our afternoon cooking school at the Tybee Lite Shrine Club added a new first course: a table decorating class hosted by Holley Jaakkola. The celebrity chefs included Roberto Leoci, Martha Nesbit, Amberley Rowe-Stewart and our multi-talented hostess, Pat Hackney. The signature event, The Grand Wine Tasting, took place under sunny skies with tastings from eight restaurants and a hundred international wines from our generous distributors.
All photos courtesy of Post Theater board member Sloan Knudson
The Tybee Post Theater moved closer to raising the curtain when we received an unexpected donation of slightly more than $100,000 from a donor with ties to Tybee who asked to remain anonymous.
It’s the largest single donation ever received by the Friends of Tybee Theater, the non-profit organization charged with restoring and reopening the Theater.
“It’s from an individual who has strong connections on Tybee and has a deep appreciation for what a performing arts and cultural center can do for our island,” says Jim Kluttz, president of the Theater board of directors. “He believes our island really needs a community gathering place where we can experience the arts together, be it movies, music, plays, dance performances. You name it. This Theater will be that place.”
The donation, which came in the form of stock that the board sold for $106,000, was deposited into a new restoration fund dedicated solely to the Theater renovation. Along with two foundation grants also received this spring, the new funding is a much-needed boost to this rehabilitation project more than a decade in the works.
The Theater board will add a $500,000 construction loan to the restoration fund and use that money to begin renovation on the auditorium and reopen the Post Theater, hopefully by the end of the year.
The construction loan will cover the cost of heating and air conditioning, insulation, an electrical upgrade, the installation of permanent theater seating, and the construction of a platform to stage live productions. The Theater then will be able operate as Tybee’s only venue for plays, music, movies, community meetings and special events with a permanent occupancy permit from the city.
The money in the restoration fund is not enough to completely finish the theater. The architects will work up a final price tag, which we will announce later this summer. In the meantime, we’ll have to rent or borrow theatrical lighting and a sound system for live performances, as well as a digital projection system and screen for movies.
“But the exciting news is that this substantial donation and the construction loan will push this restoration project forward in a meaningful way,” says Melissa Turner, new executive director of the Theater. “Tybee is ready to get back inside the Post Theater, and we’re so glad we will now be able to make that happen.
“We still have a lot of money to raise to pay off our loan and mortgage and fund the rest of the restoration,” she emphasized. “But we know that once we can show the community the potential of this theater, they’ll embrace it and renew their support.”
Along with the $106,000 anonymous donation this Spring, we received several additional generous gifts from supporters of the Theater.
The Courtney Knight Gaines Foundation gave their annual $10,000 grant. And the Salisbury Community Foundation gave us a $5,000 grant on behalf of longtime Theater supporter Anne West.
And Ocean Plaza owner Harry Spirides donated $1,500 in royalties from the sales of his book, “Hotel Tybee.” It’s the story of Tybee’s seaside resort history and the legendary Hotel Tybee, which once stood on the location of the Ocean Plaza. Harry pledged all the royalties from his book, which was published last year, to the Theater. Thank you, Harry! And remember, every purchase of “Hotel Tybee” is a donation to the Theater, so buy a copy for all your friends and relatives!
At the June board meeting, the Theater board agreed to hire Palmer Architects of Statesboro to complete the design and restoration.
Palmer has worked extensively with the Georgia Board of Regents, designing new college classroom buildings and dormitories, but also has been deeply involved in adaptive redesign projects, such as the conversion of two historic buildings on the Georgia Southern University’s Sweetheart Circle into new schools of Psychology and Communications Arts.
The board earlier had contracted with Graham, Swift & Co., theater design consultants in Atlanta, to work with the board and the architect in the design of the theater for both live performances and movies.
Kevin Palmer’s family has owned a condominium across the street from the Theater for years. This project is near to his heart.
“Tybee is simply part of who I am; and getting the opportunity to have a positive impact on the community, while helping to preserve the island’s heritage, is something we’re very excited about,” he says. “I often walk my kids past the Theater on the way to get key lime ice cream at the Sugar Shack. When my children have children of their own, they can tell them all about the movies, music and shows they saw at the Tybee Post Theater as kids; and that their grandpa helped renovate it.”
The design consultants will ensure that every step of the rehabilitation process – from the sound, stage and lighting to sight lines – enhances the theater experience for guests.
“We are delighted to be engaged in this project,” says Charles Swift, who has more than three decades of lighting and theatrical design experience, “because of the significance it carries, not only to those who visit the island, but for those who live and work here as well.”