The Wichita Theatre is undergoing major renovations. From new seats to lighting and it all started Sunday. At 2 p.m. volunteers gathered together to start ripping out the old seats to prepare for the new ones.
With each screw removed, a part of history goes along with it.
"The downstairs seats were put in about 1971," said President of the Wichita Theatre Dwayne Jackson. "The balcony seats, and only the lower half will be taken out, were put in, in 1939."
Sunday they were pulled out as part of the theatre's $130,000 facelift.
"We're going to put on a finish to the floor that should last us 15 years or so. We're going to be
repainting, really refreshing up the auditorium, doing a lot of technical upgrades," said Jackson.
The most important finishing touch sits right here. The wear and tear on the decades old seats is really obvious and that's why everyone is really excited about the new ones coming in. They're expected to be a lot more comfortable.
Rowena Jackson was a former owner of the theatre before it was turned into a non-profit. She says all the changes will benefit the community.
"Whether it be on stage or serving the area with space for meeting and dining it lends itself to a lot of possibilities," she said.
The work to remove the chairs will be tedious, taking all day Sunday. On January 2 the new chairs will come in to be installed in what will be one of its biggest changes in 104 years. Theatre officials say the cost of 45 percent of the new seats have been covered by the community and there is still room for more help.
If you're interested in purchasing an old seat or sponsoring a new one you can still do so. Just contact the Wichita Theatre at 723-9037 or you can purchase it online by clicking here.