Wednesday morning, after nearly a year of waiting, the ribbon was finally cut. The Missouri Theatre and Center for the Arts is officially reopened.
Executive Director of the Missouri Theatre and Missouri Symphony Orchestra, David A. White III, expressed excitement for what the theater will mean for future generations.
“The Missouri Theatre has been Columbia’s living room for the past 80 years,” said White.
As the Lee Elementary School prepared to sing “This Old Place is Alive Tonight” by Jordan Black, White expressed how he feels the theater will play a role in the lives of the young as well as the old.
“There are 30 children behind us, 25 years from now, they will bring their children to this theater,” he said. “It’s about those kids.”
A crowd of around 100 gathered on Ninth Street to celebrate the success of the renovation and to get a first look at the foyer. As they waited, many reminisced on memories of growing up with the old theater.
“I remember sitting on the balcony with my boyfriend,” said Maribeth Jackson, a resident of Columbia for 71 years.
Mayor Darwin Hindman shared his gratitude toward major donors, who helped to fund the renovation costs.
“Today, after many years of effort, we see her restored to her former grandeur,” said Hindman.
The excitement of the grand opening will continue with the black tie gala and Tony Bennett’s concert scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.