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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Organizational meeting set to save Barron Theatre

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  • The Barron Theatre sits dark and empty but a group of concerned citizens isn't willing to let this piece of Pratt's history just sit and not be an entertainment source for Pratt.
    The Barron Theatre Project is designed to bring supporters and people with specific skills together to get the theater open again, said Genile Rawson, a member of the group.
    An organizational meeting is planned for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the Pratt Public Library. Everyone is invited to attend but most importantly the group needs people who are experienced in grant writing, have businesses experience and have legal skills to attend.
    Fund-raising will be a key topic of discussion at the meeting and all input is welcome.
    The Barker family has indicated they are looking for someone to manage the theater and to do the upgrades for digital film, Rawson said.
    Getting the Barron up and running again is the goal of this group. Without it, an important historical part of the community will be lost.
    "When you lose your downtown theater, it's not just sad, it sucks the life out of the downtown area, Rawson said. "Downtown just doesn't have the draw it used to."
    It is important to make this a community project to save a community asset.
    Rawson, who moved to Pratt six years ago with her husband who works at Pratt Community College, said her parents were married in Pratt, she has had family in Pratt since the turn of the century and she grew up in Anthony attending a movie theater that was also built by the Barrons.
    So she has a connection with the town and theater and refuses to just let the Barron sit empty and dark.
    "If it doesn't pan out, it doesn't pan out but boy it won't be for a lack of trying," Rawson said.
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