By Jennifer K. Bauer
The Pullman Civic Theatre is in the midst of a major fundraising campaign to remodel its Nye Street Theater.
The community theater’s home is in a former office space donated in 2005 by Mid and Del Rowland. It was originally meant to serve as a storage area, but theater managers saw the potential to build a stage there, said Kristin Lincoln, a production manager for the group and treasurer for its board of directors.
They built a stage with seating for 75, but a change of occupancy was never filed with the city. In order to make that happen, the theater needs to make some upgrades, she said.
First, it needs to meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act with the addition of an ADA compliant restroom.
The other major upgrade will be to replace the theater’s seats. The group recently received a donation of chairs from a cinema in Lewiston that closed, Lincoln said. The chairs will be installed in a new configuration to create better sight lines and more space in the theater.
Theater officials also plan to level the outdoor sidewalk to make the building easier to access and upgrade the theater’s lighting system. They expect the upgrades to cost $30,000 and are raising money through a variety of fundraisers with hopes to have the upgrade completed by the end of the year, Lincoln said.
In 2017 the Pullman Civic Theatre launched a campaign that proposed turning Pullman’s former downtown movie house, the Audian, into a performing arts center. The Audian is privately owned and under a lease. That project is at a standstill, Lincoln said.
“We presented the idea to the family that owns the building,” Lincoln siad. “They’re looking at all the possibilities and options. … We’re mostly just sitting back and hoping that our mission is the one they want to go with.”
The next fundraiser for the Nye Street upgrade is a bowling night from 5 to 7 p.m. June 23 at Zeppoz in Pullman. Cost is $40, and registration must be purchased by Sunday to receive an event T-shirt. Those interested can register or donate on the theater’s website at pullmancivictheatre.org.