Theatrical revitalization heading to downtown Vermillion.

Two movie theaters in the area are being upgraded

VERMILLION, SD - A theatrical revitalization is underway in downtown Vermillion, S.D. Two movie theaters in the city are being upgraded as part of joint venture by the non-profit, Vermillion Downtown Cultural Association and the University of South Dakota (USD).

USD professor and a board member of the non-profit, Betty Smith, told ABC9 that the plan is to re-open the Vermillion movie theater, which has been closed for nearly one year, and bring upgrades to the Coyote Twin theater.

"When you take away theaters you take away one of the reason so many people have for coming downtown. So we were concerned about having these big gaps in the streetscape," said Betty Smith Vermillion downtown cultural association board member.

At the top of the list for the Coyote theater is new chairs; a modern look for the theater walls, which are now covered in an accordion style fabric; and a new cafe in the place of an old video rental area.

Smith says the Coyote theater will continue to feature new films, while the Vermillion theater will be a space for alternative films and performances.

"What we hope is to have a film venue that is a little bit different," said Smith. "We'd like to show classic movies, film series, Shakespeare movies. We'd like to partner with the USD to have film events."

One of those partnerships will be with the National Music Museum on the campus of USD.

"The timing was really great now that we have this new community group coming together to revive the theaters, "said Cleveland Johnson National Music Museum Director.

So far, the Vermillion downtown cultural association has raised about $140,000 towards the project.

USD students told ABC9 they are looking forward to the upgrades.

"I feel like it's great for the community and great for the city," said Auston Johnson, USD senior. "We're getting more students and it's good to have different movies so that we have different varieties."

"That's awesome to kind of preserve what the town had before and bring it back," said Dara Cahrry, USD sophomore. "I think that's great," she added.

"I'm really excited to have another one. I mean, there's not a lot to do in Vermillion," said Emily Sommerfeld, USD Sophomore.

The Coyote theater will remain open during the renovations.

The Vermillion theater, which needs a new digital projector and sound system, is expected to be open for business next Spring, according to Smith.

 


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