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Restoring a Classic

Posted: Tuesday, Jun 10th, 2014

Carleen Wild

Enterprise staff

If you’ve driven by, chances are you may have seen the signs and streamers in the windows of the historic Crystal Theatre. There is a birthday being celebrated! But don’t mistake the announcement as another Crystal production.

This is officially a birthday celebration year for the classic theatre and there is a party going on! There will be events, fundraisers, musicals and camps! This is a special year for the Crystal. Well, quite honestly, every year is. But this year especially, supporters of the Crystal are hoping you’ll join in some of the fun as well as the fundraising efforts to upgrade and restore the facility to a condition the community is proud to showcase.

“Our goal is to raise $100,000 in our 100th year,” said Dan Sutton, Crystal Theatre Board President. “We started planning about a year and a half ago and the campaign will probably continue past our 100th year as we try to lay out our campaign and invite folks to be a part of what’s happening at the theatre, financially. Hopefully, folks will consider supporting us as they see the improvements we’ve made over the years and understand what we want to do to continue moving forward.”

There will be an official ribbon cutting ceremony held this 4th of July where an announcement will be made in regard to a major first gift to kick off the campaign. Sutton says the theatre has been fortunate to receive such a sizable gift.

“We are trying to upgrade and replace some of the sound system. We are looking at the continuous renovation of our bathroom area and in the basement. We’re considering an addition to the east, which would be additional space for larger set pieces and the cast. We often do large musicals here but we’re so limited on space. Even with bands, it would be nice to have space to allow them to set up and be able to move it onto the stage. We’d like to do this along with just continued maintenance,” said Sutton.

The Crystal Theatre has been an incredible draw for the community for generations. And the old marquee, especially when it’s lit up come nightfall, still beckons one to see what might be going on inside.

“The theatre is one of the venues in the community that brings people together to celebrate different types of events, it draws people here because they love live music, live performance, whether it’s a singing group, a musical production or children’s theatre. When you have something like this, that we’re working to restore and that draws folks to Flandreau, they’re also eating in town, they’re buying gas in town, they’re seeing our community for the first time and we constantly hear good comments like, wow, Flandreau has a lot to offer. It’s a great venue to offer to a whole other group of people that wouldn’t come here if we didn’t have the theatre. It’s also something people can do their entire life… it’s nice to see interaction of youth and adults on stage. Our community gets to do something that, if wasn’t here, chances are they wouldn’t be involved in theatre. And not just theatre, people can use it for meetings. We’ve had church, weddings, graduations, we just think it’s a really unique venue that benefits the community in many ways,” said Sutton.

The next opportunity to get involved with the Crystal is the JC Wade Summer Children’s Theatre and Missoula Children’s Theatre. Auditions for their summer camp and performance, King Arthur’s Quest are June 16th at 9:30AM. The show will be on June 20th and June 21st at 7:00PM. Auditions are open to any child, 1st grade and older. Sutton says this is a season ticket event. If you have any questions, contact the Crystal at 605-864-0517 or email flandreau.crystal.theatre@gmail.com.

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