Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Columbia Theatre

Save the Columbia

In my time away from Chic & Shimmer, I joined two Board of Directors here in Paducah. One of them is Family Service Society (a post on that to come!) and the other is Paducah Art House Alliance. It is under this Board ("PAHA" for short) that the Columbia Theatre Restoration Project exists. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with the purpose of saving Paducah's beloved Columbia Theatre. 

The Paducah Art House Alliance (formerly Paducah Film Society) is a newly reformed non-profit entity that has been established to supervise and manage the future collaboration of Maiden Alley Cinema and the Columbia Theatre as well as the restoration project being undertaken to renovate the landmark Columbia Theatre. Throughtout the movement to restore the art palace, Maiden Alley Cinema has been deeply involved as a partner. Once The Columbia Theatre is restored and operational the PAHA board will serve as the governing body for the two theatres when they are both operating in tandem. Presently, Maiden Alley Cinema still operates under an Advisory Board making decisions on the current operations.

What's the big deal about this one little theatre?
I'm glad you asked...

On April 18th of 1927, the Columbia Theatre opened it's doors. Over the next 60 years, countless films were projected on to the screens, many buckets of popcorn were consumed and dare I say some first kisses?! Okay maybe I'm a bit of a romantic on that last point but I will say that it's been such a beautiful experience hearing members of the community tell me their tales of this remarkable theatre. 

In those 60 years, it truly was a "hot spot" of Paducah. Through the renovations that were completed, you can tell that even then the community could tell that this was a special place. A place that was worth the time, money and effort. Unfortunately, like many other small cinemas around the United States at that time, the screens went black in the year of 1987.

While Paducah does house several cinemas at this time, there is none other than this one. What makes this one different you might ask? The Columbia will utilize programming that is not in direct competition with any other venue as the plan will use film as an anchor. For programming such as live music the Columbia will draw acts that do not currently have an appropriate venue in the area. This offers the potential to reach a medium-sized audience unlike the Market House Theater (smaller) or the Carson Center (larger). 

When I share that I recently stepped on to this Board, it's amazing to hear people (unprovoked I might add) gush about their experiences at the theatre when they were growing up. Why wouldn't they gush?! Truly the pictures above don't do it justice until you step into the theatre. Then, you're speechless. Your jaws drop. I, for one, feel so proud to be a "Paducahian" in that moment. It's astonishing how much beauty there is to be seen in that one architectural piece.

Check out this video that Ben Sollee wrote in the Columbia Theatre (how cool is that!?).

Want to know more about our mission?

Want to know more about our history?

Have some questions?

If you'd like to see some behind the scenes about the theatre, 

I really appreciate your patience reading this novel of a post! 😅 As you can tell, this is something that is very close to my heart. If you're feeling led to contribute to our vision, we would love your contribution
Every little bit counts!

If you live in the Paducah area, make sure to check out Leadership Paducah's event this weekend - Saving The Silver Screen. Tickets start at just $50 a piece and they're still available - secure your spot here. Your ticket secures a spot to watch the dueling pianos, enjoy heavy hors d'oeuvres as well as a cash bar. 
I'll be there and would love to see you! 😊

Thank you for stopping by today! I hope this was informative to you guys.

Again if you guys have any questions, feel free to 
check out our FAQ page or shoot me an email at

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