The Fox Theatre Institute and Toccoa Main Street program teamed up for a downtown block party Thursday night on Doyle Street in front of the Schaefer Center.
The block party provided an opportunity for the Fox Theatre Institute to recognize the ongoing renovations taking place at the Schaefer Center and officially present the city with a $10,000 grant that the institute awarded to Toccoa last year.
Fox Theatre Vice President and General Manager Adina Erwin said the Fox Theatre started its institute as a way to help other historic theatres.
She said the Fox believes in the power a restored historic theatre can bring to a community.
“The Schaefer Center, like many historic theatres around the state can be a catalyst for community building and economic development, a catalyst for arts development, a community galvanizing force in Toccoa,” said Erwin. “We know that this can happen because we have seen it happen so many times and it is a part of the Fox’s story and it is a reason we do what we do.”
According to city officials, this grant is helping to pay for a preservation plan and an economic study that will help promote a feasibility study on the design scheme on the front façade as part of efforts to restore the Schaefer Center, located at the corner of Broad and Doyle streets in downtown Toccoa.
Toccoa Main Street Director Connie Tabor said those renovations to the Schaefer Center are ongoing.
“We have just completed the interior renovations of the ground floor of the Schaefer Center,” said Tabor. “The balcony will be next.”
Tabor said the next phase is using this grant to put together a design plan for the exterior of the building and the façade, as well as future development.
For her part, Erwin said she is impressed with what she sees at the Schaefer Center.
She noted the efforts to match the original carpet with what was recently installed, saying that she appreciated efforts to stay as true to the original theatre layout as possible.
Meanwhile, Tabor said the city is thrilled to have the chance to work with the Fox Theatre Institute on the project.
“I think it gives our project even more significance,” said Tabor. “It allows us to tap into the resources that they have and they have restored theatres throughout the state and partnered with other local organizations to help that endeavor occur. We are very grateful for that opportunity.”
Headlining Thursday’s block party was “Von Grey,” a group consisting of four sisters from Alpharetta who have recently appeared on Late Night with David Letterman and Conan O’Brien.
Erwin said the Fox Theatre Institute is excited to bring groups like this to places like Toccoa and even more pleased to see a good crowd turnout for the event.
“It’s a festive atmosphere,” said Erwin. “It’s great.”
Thursday’s block party also included other local entertainment, free food, games, children’s activities, and more.