Pictured is the Southside Theatre Guild in Fairburn.

The historic Southside Theatre Guild in Fairburn is getting a bit of a makeover with help from the Fox Theatre Institute.

Atlanta-based Fox Theatre Institute (FTI) is the Fox Theatre’s dynamic outreach program offering historic preservation expertise, consultation and education to performing arts venues in Georgia and the Southeast. FTI pays it forward by helping other cultural institutions renew, reinvigorate and restore artistic vitality by offering financial assistance, restoration support and operations mentoring needed to leverage scarce resources and stimulate local economies.

Through a $75,000 historic preservation grant, FTI will help the Southside Theatre Guild continue to produce a wide array of shows at the auditorium in Fairburn with a complete replacement of the building’s existing roof.

“FTI has lifted a burden from our shoulders. Not only will this grant allow Southside Theatre Guild to continue its long history or providing quality productions through an all-volunteer community organization, but one of Fairburn’s historic buildings will be preserved,” said Jill Lucas, President of Southside Theatre Guild.

Southside Theatre Guild was formed in 1973 with the guidance of the Fairburn-Palmetto Junior Women’s Club, six-term Georgia House Representative Helen Selman, and Doris Russell, former Radio City Rockette and founder of the Doris Russell School of Dance. The group first used the former Fairburn Scout Hut as its meeting and rehearsal space and performances were held in local school gymnasiums.

In 1975, the old movie theater in Fairburn became available and renovations began. The building was later donated to Southside Theatre Guild. The guild is blessed to have the historic structure, but it requires a lot of tender loving care and maintenance, stated officials. Southside Theatre Guild has produced over 200 shows comprising roughly 1,800 performances and continues to produce a minimum of four shows per year.

Southside Theatre Guild’s mission is to benefit the South Metro Atlanta community by providing entertaining shows throughout the year and by giving local volunteers the opportunity to contribute and experience all the advantages of being involved in the theatrical arts.

“The receipt of this grant will allow Southside Theatre Guild to continue providing our community with entertainment and an outlet for creativity, artistic growth and imagination to flourish,” said Janet Reed, Director of Publicity.

For more information, visit www.foxtheatreinstitute.org.

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