04 August 2015
VERMILLION, S.D. | Any volunteer group with aims to revitalize a city's downtown and foster cultural opportunities faces that moment when members might wonder how, or if, they're going to pull it off.
But right out of the gate, the new Vermillion Downtown Cultural Association has a summer blockbuster of a project that couldn't be any better marriage of its goals to keep this city's downtown going while providing cultural events that should appeal to a wide array of people.
"We're still dazed and confused about the whole thing," said Bill Anderson, the Downtown Cultural Association's president.
Six months ago, association members were thinking about how to achieve their mission of improving cultural life in downtown Vermillion when the city's two movie theaters, both located downtown on Main Street, came up for sale.
You probably couldn't ask for a better situation in which to match culture and downtown development.
"It just so happened interest in downtown and the focus on culture fit nicely in this theater project,"Anderson said.
The association teamed with the Vermillion Area Chamber and Development Co., the University of South Dakota and other investors to put up $50,000 to buy the Coyote Twin and Vermillion Theater after the owner of the local company that had owned them for about 40 years announced his retirement. The remainder of the $200,000 price to buy the buildings and equipment will befinanced.
What did they get for their money?