Imagine Durant has big plans for historic Plaza Theatre
DURANT, Okla. (KTEN) — Imagine Durant is asking the State of Oklahoma for millions of dollars of federal COVID-19 funding to be allocated to revitalize the Plaza Theatre on Main Street.
"So this project is actually a collaborative effort," said Imagine Durant executive director Kara Byrd. "Ron [Boyer] and I have actually been talking about how amazing it would be to see this beautiful facility to come back to live and to be used for what's it's intended to be."
The theater dates back to 1936.
"I was told the building actually at one time stood by itself," said County Commissioner Ron Boyer. "And then they built the strip, so I don't know whether that's true or not. I found some older pictures; it looks like it might've been true, there's not a whole lot of historical data on it."
Recently, the building — which is owned by Bryan County — has been used as an office space for the district attorney's office, but that's about to change.
"We've got the opportunity of acquiring the federal building up the street here," said Boyer. "And we're going to renovate that. Upon renovation we're going to move the DAs out of this office."
Byrd said with the Choctaw Casino and Resort and Lake Texoma just down the road, millions of people are drawn to the area, and a revamped theater would give these visitors another reason to visit downtown Durant.
"A place to show movies, a place for OSF to have live productions, or a place to have concerts," said Byrd. "And it's just a great opportunity to bring people together and let them visit our downtown and have a reason for that."
Byrd said Imagine Durant, a coalition of business and community leaders, is getting a lot of support from the county, the Choctaw Nation, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and other organizations. And they're hoping to get the money they need to make it happen.