The historic downtown Sterling Theater is open for business.
This weekend, a QCA community is one step closer in its plan to revitalize an entire downtown. For the first time in about seven years, the historic downtown Sterling Theater is open for business.
The Sterling Theater has been through a lot over the years.
It was a popular attraction from the time it opened in the 1930s until it closed seven years ago and fell into disrepair.
Now, in just the last two years, the theater has gone from being condemned to being a symbol of hope for the Sterling community as it looks to revitalize its downtown.
Sterling's mayor says the city invested more than $500,000 in the project to renovate and reopen the theater. Community members say they're glad the city spent that money and are happy to have the theater back.
They say now they're anticipating a lot more visitors in town because of it.
The owner says the Sterling Theater is the only so-called "brew and view" theater between Des Moines and the Chicago suburbs, meaning it serves alcohol and food to have during the movie.
Sterling's mayor says that will make the city a destination and bring what the community says would be a much needed boost to the local economy.
"If we don't reinvest in ourselves as a city, how can we expect other people to reinvest in us? And this is a sign of our commitment to the downtown of our city and our commitment to do more projects like this to enhance our city," Mayor Skip Lee said.
Mayor Lee says the city is now setting its sights on some old warehouses in the downtown. They are working on plans to renovate and re-purpose those buildings now.