COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - The restoration of the theatre’s façade and the musical “Chicago” highlighted a good year for Tibbits Opera House as reported at the theatre’s annual meeting on Thursday, January 24, 2013
Work on the restoration of the exterior of the historic theatre was at the forefront of the year. Ken Delaney and Mary Smith, co-chairs of the restoration campaign were on hand to provide details. According to Delaney, “Fundraising efforts since the scaffolding went up in February brought in an additional $250,000 for the project and garnered incredible community interest and support.” He added, the progress on the project is apparent by the total transformation of the building and the attention it is receiving far beyond the community.
Also of note for the year was the success of the Tibbits Summer Theatre season. In particular, the show “Chicago,” in addition to being praised critically, became the highest grossing summer show of all time. It outsold “Hair,” the previous record holder by more than $5300. Tibbits board hopes the success can be repeated in 2013 as it has added two big musicals to the line-up for the 50thanniversary season of Summer Theatre. “Fiddler on the Roof” and “The Producers” will anchor the season with two great comedies, “Greater Tuna” and “The Foreigner” balancing the season.
Tibbits board president, Brian Hodson recognized outgoing board members, Erl Gleason and Bev Tippmann. Elected to the board at the meeting, each for a three-year term, were Lonney Evon and Mindy Fuchs. Laura Lutterbeck, Jim Maynard and Polly Locke each renewed their current board positions. Tibbits board Treasurer, Ray Sebastian said the finances were good, “Donations continue to hold strong even with the effort split between operations and restoration. The bottom line for the year, before depreciation, the finances were within $500 of breaking even.”In addition to recognizing the anniversary of Tibbits Summer Theatre, the year ahead will also include the completion of the balcony on the front of the building by March and the celebration of Phase III on April 27. The theatre is planning a big dedication ceremony for the celebration along with the world premiere of the documentary on restoring the opera house being made by Equity Studios. Tibbits will also be launching a brand new look to its website in the next few weeks.Copies of the Tibbits Annual Report are available at the administrative office at 93 West Chicago Street. For more information go to www.Tibbits.org or call 517-278-6029. Tibbits Opera Foundation and Arts Council is a non profit 501 (c)3 corporation which owns and operates the Tibbits Opera House. The opera house is located at 14 S. Hanchett St. Coldwater, MI.